The game of life plays out as The Pitch comes to Patrickswell

Norma Prendiville


Norma Prendiville

PATRICKSWELL GAA Club is taking a step in a different direction next week– when it plays host to Shane Connaughton’s play The Pitch.

PATRICKSWELL GAA Club is taking a step in a different direction next week– when it plays host to Shane Connaughton’s play The Pitch.

The play has already had a hugely successful run in GAA clubhouses around the country, backed by the GAA Social Initiative and Calor Gas.

“We are delighted to be hosting this play,” Patrickswell GAA chairman, Paul Foley said. “It has won some very good reviews around the country – and I gather it is a well-crafted play with something for everyone.”

The play, he added, is not just about football but also deals with other themes as well.

The Pitch was written by Shane Connaughton, author and screen-writer who was nominated for an Academy Award for My Left Foot. A Co Cavan man, Shane grew up in Kingscourt where football was an important part of life.

In the summer run of the play, Shane Connaughton himself played the central part of Philly - telling the story of how he scored a goal and a point off the one ball – and revisiting his youth and heroic days togging off for parish and the joy of wearing the jersey.

But the play also touches on other themes of friendship and betrayal, and involves a battle between Philly and his enemies who want to turn the pitch, once his field of dreams, into a housing estate.

“It is a really good play with some fine actors,” Paul Foley added.

It also comes highly recommended by Limerick Co Board chairman, Liam Lenihan.

In the new production of the play coming to Patrickswell, former county footballer and actor Seamus O’Rourke takes over the leading role. The play is produced and directed by Will Govan, the publisher of The Moth magazine who believes Seamus is “perfect for the role”. Also starring in the play are

“Ticket-sales are going solidly,” Paul Foley said with some relief this week. The play will open in the Patrickswell GAA Community Hall next Thursday, November 24 at 8pm and tickets cost €10. “We are hoping for a full-house,” Mr Foley continued, adding that they can seat 200 people for the performance.

While the primary reason for inviting The Pitch to Patrickswell is to provide local people with a chance to see a good play in their own community, the club is also hoping it will attract non-members, as part of the GAA Social Initiative. This is aimed at helping to overcome isolation among elderly men.

The club also hopes it will prove to be a money-spinner.Despite generous support from Duggan Systems, the club still retains a debt from its refurbishment of its clubhouse which was re-opened by GAA chairman Christy Cooney this time last year. And like every other club in the county, Patrickswell has to meet the ongoing costs of simply running the club. To get tickets for The Pitch, contact club members or phone 087 6924959