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Drama aplenty in Doonbeg

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This Saturday sees the conclusion of the All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals which are taking place in Clare for the first time.

On Friday last, representatives of the qualifying festivals and the top 9 drama groups along with members of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland and The Drama League of Ireland descended on Doonbeg.

West Clare Drama Festival are hosting the finals and they kicked with a gala dinner at Trump International. It was here that four founding members of the group who remain involved Cissie McMahon, Marie Shanahan, John Igoe and Murt McInerney received a special presentation.

Rita McInerney who is Chairperson of the West Clare Drama Festival said, “Amateur drama is hugely important to communities around Ireland in order to bring people together in a creative and expressive environment to showcase their talent, giving great enjoyment to local audiences”.

A sold out auditorium witnessed the official opening by Joanna Keane, daughter of playwright John B. Keane and Director with Listowel Writers Weeks told of how 60 years ago this year her father’s play “Sive” was rejected by the Abbey Theatre.  The play was subsequently performed by amateur group Listowel Drama Group to great acclaim around the country and as a result the Abbey Theatre sought the rights to perform the play.  The audience were then treated to a production by Kilworth Drama Group from Cork of “Unforgiven” by John McDywer, with the author in the audience on the night to witness the All-Ireland performance.

The All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals have continued since Friday night with a different performance each night to large audiences. The Final Night of the All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals 2019 takes place on Saturday the 13th when Newtownstewart Drama Group will present Sive.  This will be followed by the Final Adjudication and the presentation of Awards with the crowning of the All-Ireland Confined Drama Winners 2019.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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