Watch: Clare community produces special Easter 1916 commemoration despite Covid-19 lockdown

Watch: Clare community produces special Easter 1916 commemoration despite Covid-19 lockdown
Louise Donlon, Co-Director O’Gonnelloe Remembers, and Jim O’Brien, script-writer and narrator, taken from the launch night of O’Gonnelloe Remembers back in 2016.

O’Gonnelloe Remembers a special online show to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising will be broadcast this Sunday on social media.

Produced by Louise Donlon, Co-Director and Jim O’Brien, script-writer and narrator, the community show was made on mobile phones in spite of Covid-19 lockdowns.

In a show of solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic, the parishioners adapted their regular Easter 1916 commemoration into a 40 minute home production.

The show combines celebrated songs and poems about the1916 Rising together with a special diary from the time written by local man Tim Lynch.

The performance gives a fascinating insight into how word was received and anticipated of events in Dublin, some 200kms away from the picturesque parish on the shores of Lough Derg.

The show is narrated by a journalist Jim O’Brien, who lives in the parish.

Speaking about the initiative, co-director and local resident Louise Donlon said: “We have a very vibrant community here and typically at this time of year we would put on a show involving local people for local people and many from beyond who are now coming here for these shows.

"There’s a great closeness here in the parish and we are just reinforcing that with this production at this time. Once the lock-down came a few of us chatted and said let’s do this and, to a person, everyone we asked to contribute said yes.”

The show's cast are a mix of ages and professions, including farmers, a landscape gardener, a journalist as well as people working in marketing.

Each participant recorded their piece on their phones this week, with the items sent to Clare video editor Brian Ruane, who is pulling the final product together.

“It’s been a frantic week as we are all trying to do our day jobs in difficult circumstances but it’s been a great and fun distraction. We’ve had the first cut and we’re into final edits now and will have our best foot forward on Sunday night,” said Michael MacNamara, one of the performers.

“There’s a great sense of community spirit and solidarity about it at this difficult time. We might not be able to do something in the community hall this Easter but we will be bringing that spirit into people’s homes.

“What’s really special about this show are the excerpts from Tim Lynch’s diary, whom I knew as a boy growing up when he was moving on in age. He wrote brilliantly and you get a real sense from the diaries as to how word travelled back then.

"You are very much with him as he hears with excitement what’s happening in Dublin and then his disappointment but pride as he hears of how things ultimately unfolded.”

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