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Holycross/Ballycahill – ‘Tipp Top’ in Open Drama Festival

News Flash: Holycross/Ballycahill Drama Group with their production of “Bold Girls” have qualified for the All-Ireland Confined Finals of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland; to be held in St Bridget’s Hall, Carnew, County Wicklow from Friday, April 13th to Saturday, April 21st.

Holycross/Ballycahill Are Tops in Tipp at Co. Tipperary Open Drama Festival

Tom Ryan Reports:-

It’s official. The 50 year old Holycross/Ballycahill Drama Group are tops in Co. Tipperary!

The winners of last year’s “Tipperary Star” Cup awarded in the Confined Section of the Co. Tipperary Drama Festival, this year have won the Dr Morris Cup for Best Tipperary Play in the Confined Section. Same was announced last Saturday night in St Michael’s Community Centre, Holycross; as a hugely successful 36th Co. Tipperary Open Drama Festival drew to a close.

Ms Imelda McDonagh

Already preparations are under way for next year’s festival to be held in March, 2019.  A justifiably delighted Mr Donal Duggan, (Festival Director), thanked everybody who had contributed in any way to the success of the festival.

The “Tipperary Star Cup” in the Confined Section went to Curtain Call Productions, Dungarvan, with Neil La Bute’s “Some“Girls”.

The “Hannifin Cup” for Most Entertaining Play went to Conna Drama Group’s “Caught in the Net” and the Gallagher Award for Most Promising Actor/Actress, went to Lilly Heindich Doyle (Gorey).  Ms Jenny Bracken of the Holycross/Ballycahill Group, latter who are having a very successful year, winning many awards nationwide, won Best Actress Award for her role as
“Marie” in “Bold Girls”, to further add to other best actress awards won by this very talented Thespian.

Jacqui Lacey was nominated for Best Supporting Actress Award. Miriam Lanigan, Paddy Connolly and Conor O’Connell of Holycross /Ballycahill won an Adjudicator’s award for Imaginative and Atmospheric Lighting.

The Tipp FM Trophy for the Open Section winners was won by Bridge View, Tallow, for their truly delightful “Stolen Child” by Yvonne Quinn and Bairbre Ni Chaoimh.

Nenagh DG were second with “Duet For One”, while Thurles Drama Group were third with Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit”.  Mary Bowe, playing Elvira in “Blithe Spirit” won Best Actress Award for Thurles Drama Group.  Martin Fitzgerald was nominated for Best Actor and Liam Ryan was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in “Blithe” Spirit”, while Anne O’ Dwyer won the Josie Slattery Trophy for Best Overall Set. Sandra Dunne was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Award.

Kevin Walshe of Nenagh DG was nominated for Best Actor Award and Ciara O’Sullivan of Nenagh for Best Actress Award (Open).

The Tipperary successful Holycross/Ballycahill Drama Group and Dr Morris Cup winners, comprised  Elaine O’ Dwyer, Jenny Bracken, Joanne O’Neill and Jacqui Lacey, while Claire Ryan was Director. And they and their hard-working stage crew deserve many accolades. As, indeed, do all groups who participated with a wide ranging selection of top plays over the nine days of delightful theatre, a credit to rural Tipperary.

Hopefully this prestigious festival will ever receive all the support it so richly deserves.
The festival attracted theatre enthusiasts from all over Tipperary and other counties who lavished praise on the organising committee.  It was pointed out that The Tipperary and Doonbeg Drama Festivals are the only ones to feature the playing of our national anthem. And in Holycross, Martin (“Marty”) O’Neill can be proud of his dedication in this regard. He always plays “Amhrán na bhFhiann” nightly before the plays ever get under way.

The Festival committee led by Mr Donal Duggan, Festival Director, who was MC nightly, won praise from popular adjudicator, Ms Imelda McDonagh, who was a richly informative voice nightly and very helpful to groups with vast experience at her disposal.

County Tipperary Drama Festival Committee 2018
President: V Rev Fr. Celsius Tierney, Parish Priest of Holycross/Ballycahill; Chairman: Tommy Lanigan; Festival Director: Donal Duggan; Treasurer: Maudie Bourke; Secretary; Claire Ryan; P.R.O:Geraldine O’Neill; Sponsorship: Ger O’Dwyer; Raffle: Diana Lacey; Technical: Marty O’Neill and Paddy Connolly; Committee: Peg Ryan, Elaine O’Dwyer, Derek Doherty.

A special subcommittee comprises :
Jack Henchion, John Glasheen, Aisling Henchion, Gerry Kennedy.

Attendance at the festival included:
“Tipperary Star” Sports Editor, Brian McDonnell, John Quinlan (Moyne), Martin, Mary and Anna Fitzgerald (Holycross), Marian Burke (Holycross), Tim Curran and his daughter Rachel (Thurles), Fintan O Gorman (Athnid), Denis Carroll (Clonoulty), Tom Quinlan (Ballyhcahill), Gerard J Hough (Cashel), author John G O ‘Dwyer (Thurles), Nora and Mary Maher (Thurles), Mairead Ryan (Holycross), Patrick Crowe, (Thurles), Siobhan Kelly (Thurles), Josephine O’Gorman (Thurles), Tommy Kennedy (Thurles), Mike Hennessy (Tipperary Mid-West Radio), and his wife, Breda, Dolores Purcell (Athnid), Tom and Margaret Purcell (Littleton), James Finn, and Geraldine O’Neill (Tipp FM), Kitty Devane (Clonoulty) and her daughter Edel.

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