Barry Cowen to trade the Dáil for the stage in stand-up comedy fundraiser

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Local Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen is among the high-profile local faces who will become stand-up comedians for one night only in a unique fundraiser this coming Friday night, February 24. Tullamore and District Rotary Club are hosting the 'Strictly Stand Up' event upstairs at Hugh Lynch's bar in Tullamore.

Barry Cowen is the most high profile participant, and was somewhat landed in it by an old party friend in order to take part. "A friend of mine, Tony McCormack, is on the organising committee for the event and he asked me if I might do it for him as a favour one day. I told him I would have a think about it, but before I had, Tony rang me and said, 'I signed you up for that thing, Barry,' the Clara TD explained.

Also appearing on the night will be local priest Fr Shane Crombie, Orla Healy, Graham Kavanagh, Carol Dowdall, Cleo Knight, Tony McCormack, Cllr John Clendennen, Frank Kelly and Kevin Pigott, and all of them have been mentored by well-known comedian and television personality, Karl Spain.

"Well he thinks I'm great apparently," Cowen joked. "We have had a few meetings with him and he's helping us along, but my repertoire is certainly not going down well with my children, anyway, and it has crossed my mind that it might fall flat for them," he added.

The ten well-known locals, including Cowen, will take to the stage to deliver a five to ten minute segment of stand-up comedy. "I'm used to standing up and trying to be taken seriously," Cowen commented. "If I get a laugh, it is usually bad news, so this will be the first time I'm actually hoping to get one."

When asked about possible material on the night and perhaps the likelihood of some jibes at Fine Gael or Enda Kenny, Cowen quipped, "they are giving everyone enough laughs as it is without me adding to it."

He went on to say that he is thankful it is "only ten minutes" and hopes to draw on a past that has allowed him meet "plenty of characters" who have provided him with a yarn or two to tell.

Barry Cowen insisted that despite being quite a reluctant comedian, he is "happy to be supporting such a worthy cause" in the shape of the Tullamore and District Rotary club, a group he says do a lot of fine work in the area. "All the money will go to their great efforts and I really would encourage as many people as possible to get tickets and come along on the night to lend their support."

"I hope they are all laughing with me and night at me at the end of it all!," he jokingly concluded.

Seating is limited and tickets for the event are selling fast and can be purchased through Hugh Lynch’s Facebook page or directly from the bar in advance. Each ticket entitles the holder to vote for their favourite comedian and additional votes can be purchased on the night.

The winner will be crowned the King or Queen of Comedy and become the first winner of the award. All proceeds will be used by the club to support local charities and to fund the various community initiatives the club are facilitating.

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