Wexford People - - NEWS - By ANNA HAYES

WHILE MOST drama groups across the coun­try are busy se­lect­ing and cast­ing their plays for the 2019 am­a­teur drama All Ire­land cir­cuit, Bal­lycog­ley Play­ers were hold­ing a delayed cel­e­bra­tion for their All Ire­land win­ners from April of this year.

The group, who pre­sented Conor McPher­son’s ‘The Night Alive’, won the Con­fined All Ire­land in April, with awards for Breda Hayes as Best Di­rec­tor, Sean Carthy for Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor, and Paddy McGuire for Best Stage Man­age­ment. It was the sec­ond time the group had won the Con­fined All Ire­land, hav­ing pre­vi­ously been tri­umphant in 2016.

The group im­me­di­ately sched­uled one fi­nal per­for­mance of the play in the Dun Mhuire in June, when all of the drama sea­son was fin­ished, af­ter which they planned to have a proper night of cel­e­bra­tion in The Half­way House in Bal­lycog­ley. How­ever, an ac­ci­dent in the Dun Mhuire left light­ing tech­ni­cian and Breda’s hus­band Nick with se­ri­ous in­juries, and the group put the night on hold.

‘The night was a bit later than planned be­cause of ev­ery­thing that hap­pened. But Nick is fight­ing fit again now so we wanted to mark the win with friends and fam­ily.’

The group was joined by mem­bers of other neigh­bour­ing drama groups, as well as lo­cal coun­cil­lors Ger Carthy and Jim Moore.

The Play­ers, on a later date, pre­sented a cheque for €3,000 to the Wex­ford Rape Cri­sis and Sex­ual Abuse Ser­vice, pro­ceeds from the Dun Mhuire per­for­mance in June.

Ms Hayes ex­plained: ‘Ev­ery year we do­nate some of our pro­ceeds from some of the shows to lo­cal wor­thy causes. Some­times, it’s causes in our own area but we’ve raised money for the Women’s Refuge, the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety, and oth­ers. This year, we also raised €2,500 for the Spe­cial Olympics Club.’

She said that through­out the year the group takes part in var­i­ous fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties around the county.

‘We al­ways feel that we have a great, loyal au­di­ence and we like to give back to the com­mu­nity that is sup­port­ing us.’

Bal­lycog­ley Play­ers present a €3,000 cheque to Mairead Sin­nott and Clare McWil­liams of the Wex­ford Rape Cri­sis and Sex­ual Abuse Ser­vice.

Cel­e­bra­tion time in the Half­way House, Bal­lycog­ley: Paddy McGuire, Breda Hayes, Tr­ish Boyce and Ter­rance O’Byrne

Josh Quigley Power, Mary Quirke and Gina Mur­phy.

Mary Doyle, Claire Carthy and Ann Marie Carthy.

Nick Hayes and Sean Carthy.

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