COORACLARE received its first mention on the famed Graham Norton Show last weekend.

Leading Irish actor Paul Mescal who has strong roots to the West Clare village appeared as a guest on the BBC show fronted by the Cork man.

In a memorable fundraiser for Cooraclare GAA Club last year which brought in over €10,000, a pair of O’Neills shorts signed by Mescall was put up as the top prize. The Kildare man made the shorts a fashion symbol after shooting to stardom on Normal People, photographed out and about during 2020 sporting his ONeills shorts before wearing them with a €10,000 fleece for a GQ cover photo shoot last Autumn.

Included with the shorts is the inscription by Paul ‘to the Normal People of Cooraclare’. 78 year old farmer, Noel Ryan won the raffle and the shorts which are now framed in his home.

This was the subject of conversation during Mescal’s interview on the BBC with the former Fr Ted actor questioning what size the shorts were. “This is Cooraclare GAA club where my Dad is from, Noel knows my granny, he told my granny I’ve never seen the show, it’s up on his wall,” he said of the framed shorts.

Reference of Cooraclare was a first but so too was appearance of the work of Ennis photographer, Eamon Ward. “Well that’s a first for me, my photo of Noel Ryan, Cooraclare on The Graham Norton Show,” Ward remarked.

Noel worked with Paul’s uncle Paudie Mescal when they both drove for the McNamaras, a local silage contracting outfit.

Paul’s father, Paul Snr was born in the parish and his Uncle Paudie, nephews and nieces, Clodagh, Aoibhinn, Páraic and Darragh Jim and first cousins are an integral part of the Cooraclare Club today.

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