Players honoured for all Ireland successes
Members of the Ballycogley Players drama group, who won the Confined All Ireland in Carnew back in April, were honoured with a civic reception on Friday night, just before performing their award-winning play for the final time in the Dun Mhuire Theatre.
The group took on Irish playwright Conor McPherson's most recent play 'The Night Alive' and won a number of awards, including five Best Play awards, en route to the final of the prestigious competition.
The Players subsequently swept the boards at the All Ireland Final, winning Best Play, Best Director for Breda Hayes, Best Supporting Actor for Sean Carthy, and Best Stage Management for Paddy McGuire, as well as securing acting nominations for Con Doyle, Trish Boyce, and technical nominations for lighting man Nick Hayes and for Best Presentation.
It is the second time the group has triumphed at this competition (having previously won in 2006 with another McPherson play 'The Weir') and they are one of just a handful of groups to win the competition twice in its 60-year history. 'The Night Alive' starred Chris Maddock, Con Doyle, Trish Boyce, Sean Carthy and Colm Doyle.
Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Jim Moore, who hails from the Ballycogley catchment area, congratulated the group on a remarkable achievement, saying that reaching such heights not only commended the group, but showed the importance of drama as a community outlet.
He added that while civic receptions were generally more formal affairs, he felt it was fitting that a group of performers was rewarded in front of their audience.
Director of the play, Breda Hayes said they were delighted with the accolade, pointing out that while there were five people on the stage, the total crew was about 18 people, making it a group and community effort.
She added that since winning the All Ireland, they had enjoyed a couple of further performances for charity and were delighted to be supporting the Wexford Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Service on the night in question.
'We started at the beginning of September 2017 so it is the end of a ten-month journey for us. I was lucky that I had the right people at the right time, with the right play. We had a lot of people in the audience who weren't drama-goers and they were blown away by the production.'
She added: 'The civic reception was a lovely way to finish a great year.'
The group enjoyed a further reception, post-show, in the Talbot Hotel.