New local show opens in Ballina this February 2019

New local show opens in Ballina this February 2019

‘Take Me Home Colleen’

a brand new show that has been written by local musician and songwriter Brendan Farrell.

Following the story of Sean Og Gaughan and Colleen Boyle , from the town of Killala in County Mayo, this presentation recounts the realities that faced the people of North Mayo, from 1844 to 1850.

The story is made up of 12 chapters, where the audience will be treated to an audio/visual experience featuring film, photographic displays and a folk & ballad song that tells the tale as events unfold during a period known as The Irish Potato Famine

The 12 original songs have been composed by Brendan are contemporary Ballads, and the quality of both the writing, and the performance, have been gaining superb feedback from recent previews.

Brendan, who will enact the part of Sean Og, will be joined on stage for the live performance of the Take Me Home Colleen, by Edana Barrett from Attymass, who will make her stage debut playing the role of Colleen.

Edana will sing, narrate, play violin, and also act in the video backgrounds.

Take me Home Colleen, Killala, Co Mayo

The Irish Premier will take place on Saturday February 9th at 8pm at Ballina Arts Centre, and tickets are available both on-line at or from the Arts Centre box office.

All profits from the Premier will be shared between North West Hospice and Pieta House.

Speaking last week from his home in Ballina, Brendan remarked that he is very excited by the prospect of sharing this new show with the public.

‘The backdrop to the stage will be a working cinema screen, and my hope is that the visual element will help our audiences to appreciate better, the feelings of the characters, and also the reality that millions of people were allowed to die needlessly in the 1840’s.’

When asked about his inspiration for this project Brendan remarked that it was a labour of love.

‘I have always been very interested in History as a subject. The house where I grew up was always full of old history books, and my National School Head-Master, Joe Donahue, always had an amazing ability to paint a picture in my mind as he told us of historical tales from the Killala area.

Obviously, everyone appreciates that Killala, as a town, is steeped in history – from Saint Patricks arrival, the construction of the round tower and the abbeys, The Year of the French, and the later troubles of early 20th century, but I always felt that what I consider to be The 1840’s Genocide had been almost left out of our story. I suppose that Take Me Home Colleen, as a project, is intended to fill in some of the blanks, and to give the people of North Mayo a factual reference to a time when around 30% of our population was taken out, either by hunger or emigration. It’s definitely a story that needs to be told.

I’ve written many songs in the past that I have kept to myself, and I felt that now would be a good time to push myself outside of my comfort zone, and share some of my work with the world.

‘The 12 songs and stories will bring the audience through a timeline, where the mood will drop and lift as Sean Og works to survive, and save his family. The theme is quite dark, but there are a few brighter spots also, where there is joy, hope and a bit of fun. I hope that people will enjoy it.

I have to say that some of the facts that I uncovered during my research have scared me a little. It’s almost unbelievable to think that tonnes and tonnes of Meat, Grain and Fish were requisitioned and exported (at gun-point) by the ruling forces, whilst thousands were starving and ultimately dying by the sides of our roads.

Asked what the main moral or message from Take Me Home Colleen is, Brendan answered ‘Hope – and that our Ancestors were Survivors – and it’s always possible to find some hope from even the darkest of situations.

There is a strong reference throughout the show to our Mayo links with Pennsylvania, and also the Orphan Girls of Mayo that ended up travelling to Australia.

Take Me Home Colleen promises to be fantastic evening of entertainment and is a Must-See show for all.

Mark it in to your diaries for Saturday Feb. 9th in Ballina, and later in the year in various venues around Ireland and USA.

take me home


Go to Facebook link for further information Take Me Home Colleen

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