Danesfort GAA & Camogie Club with partners CKRC 88.7FM were jubilant last week as their joint effort, The First Puck, a radio play on the foundation of the club 100 years ago, was named “Best GAA Related Radio Programme” for 2022 in the prestigious MacNamee Awards in the GAA’s National Communication and Media Awards. The Awards Ceremony took place in Croke Park on Friday 13th October.
Last year Danesfort celebrated the foundation of the club. Among the many commemorative events that were held in 2022, February saw the first broadcast of “The First Puck” a dramatized radio play on how the club was founded in 1922 amidst the political divisions of the Irish Civil War. The project was the brainchild of Arts Curator Orlaith Treacy, herself a Danesfort club woman. Orlaith creates, develops and collaborates with artists, arts organisations and communities on projects that draw people together in public spaces and places.
The play was written by John Morton, a Kilkenny actor and writer who has created numerous film and TV projects, including the award winning TV series Dead Still (Acorn/RTÉ). A GAA Spokesperson labelled the script, acting and direction as ‘first class’. John’s script was a relatable story of a grandfather telling the history of the club to his grandchildren before they went to training. His writing got to the core of what a GAA club means to its community.
Direction was by Carlow woman Janice de Broithe, a freelance Drama Director and facilitator of drama workshops for children, young adults, and people with learning difficulties currently working with KCAT Arts Centre in Callan.
A cast of 14 club members from the ages of 13 to 82 were assembled by Derek Dooley and Breda O’Neill. The enthusiasm of all the actors brought great life to a wonderful script.
LOCAL RADIO ON BOARD
Local Radio Station CRKC 88.7 FM came on board to produce the play with the sound engineering expertise of Mick Cummins who brought a polish to the final cut. Creative Ireland under the auspices of Kilkenny County Council gave generous help with the project along with other local Sponsors Sheridan’s Ennisnag, Tierney’s Garage Cuffesgrange, Slattery’s Garage Danesfort and Hickey Hire.
On the 19th of February 2022 a full two-hour programme was broadcast from Danesfort Community Centre which included the premiere of The First Puck. A good many club members gathered to listen to the play and give their thoughts after the broadcast.
Chairperson of the Centenary Commemoration Committee, Derek Dooley has said:
“We in Danesfort GAA & Camogie Club are very proud of this achievement with our partners CRKC 88.7 Fm. The real achievement is in the coming together of a community and a local radio station to create a memorable piece of history for generations to come in our Club.
I would like to thank all involved in The First Puck for their help and dedication to this project.”
In what was described on the night as a “unique entry” the judging committee stated;
“That a small rural club would have the courage and foresight to celebrate their
centenary in the form of a radio-play is in itself an indication of fortitude and
imagination. But to carry it off with aplomb is an achievement that needs to be
recognised. Like many others, Danesfort GAA Club came into being in the
middle of the political divisions of the Civil War. In this production it is the
descendants of the founding members enact their historic beginnings in a
production featuring a first-class script, acting and direction.”
Cast: John Sullivan, Claire McInerney Brown, Niamh Davis, Cathal O’Neill, Alice Byrne, Paul Murphy, Tony Woodcock, Paddy Hogan, Michael J Moylan, Stephen McKenna, Philly Cooney, Derek Dooley. Musicians: Bernie Brennan, Ned Brennan.