Newbridge College music and drama shows celebrated in new book

Written by Joe Connolly

Leinster Leader reporter

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Newbridge College music and drama shows celebrated in new book

Christy Moore, Joe Connolly and Michael Murphy at the launch. Picture: Tony Keane

The 75-year-history of Musicals and Drama at the Dominican College, Newbridge, was launched last week by RTE newsreader Michael Murphy.

Author Joe Connolly had worked with Michael in RTE for 30 years, and the latter had played Sir Joseph in HMS Pinafore in 1963.

Also there on the night was Christy Moore who had played Ko-Ko in the Mikado 1961.

Many other past pupils attended, including Conor Bowman who played in Oliver 1981. Conor is President of the Gerard Manly Hopkins festival, held in Newbridge College each year.

Everybody was welcomed by the Principal, Mr Pat O’Brien. Three musical numbers from this year’s production of Grease, to be staged in College Theatre next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, were performed on the night.

Aoife Graham, this year’s director spoke about working on a number of the shows in the book. Conor Mahony who teaches classical guitar, also played on the night. Conor was a past pupil and played in The Student Prince in 1985.

Michael Murphy recalled the years he spent in Newbridge College:

“My three grand-uncles were at Newbridge; indeed Fr. Louis McGauran was still here when I was a student in the early sixties.

“My three uncles were also here: Charlie O’Beirne was the headmaster during my time, which didn’t make for the easiest passage with fellow students

“I was here with my two brothers — class of ‘65, and I played Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore.

And my brother John — class of ‘70, who was in the Pirates of Penzance — has accompanied me here this evening. So like many people, we can say that the musical spirit of Newbridge College has been a valued part of our family tradition and heritage.”

Michael paid tribute to the book and to the author.

“ It is imbued with the Newbridge spirit, and we owe you a great debt of gratitude for your painstaking work. I know it will encourage us all going forward to inhabit the memories you evoke here, of classmates, and teachers, and influences, and especially music and culture, because those memories are who we are. I have no doubt that your book will be read avidly at the four corners of the globe, wherever the students of Newbridge College have found a home.”

Author Joe Connolly has been lighting the Newbridge College Musical since 1981 and is there again this week.