Soap opera in Castletownbere

Posted on: 3rd November, 2014

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

There’s a creative buzz simmering around North Road in Castletownbere, where the lives of ordinary people are being immortalised through film. ‘The North Roaders’ is a new, exciting soap opera developed by local drama specialist Amy O’Sullivan in collaboration with adults with intellectual disabilities using the services at CoAction Beara. The Soap explores the lives of fictitious everyday people who live and work in the North Road area in Castletownbere.

“We have some very interesting story lines,” says Amy. “We explore family relationships, teenage bullying, the effects of the recession on businesses, and there’s also a spicy drug dealing story that unfolds over the episodes. We have a drama group at CoAction Beara, and all the characters and story lines are developed in partnership with the people in this group. There’s been a lot of careful planning along with lots of rehearsal and plenty of retakes during filming, and we’re all very proud of the episodes we have filmed so far. We’ve even composed our own theme tune to go with the soap opera, and our actors are getting to know their characters so well that often the lines between fiction and reality become blurred.”

Barry Power plays bad boy John Bower in the soap. He likes fast cars and women, but his job in the local jam factory doesn’t support his lavish lifestyle, so he’s always looking for ways to make quick easy money, which ultimately gets him into a lot of trouble. “The best thing about (the soap) is being together with friends and everyone having parts and then watching on the screen after,” says Barry.

Helen O’Neill plays Tina Watts, a 16-year-old student at North Road community college. She is a quiet girl, who is bullied by her best friend, but her loyal personality means that she sticks by her no matter what. “It’s good craic,” says Helen.”It’s fun being someone else for a while”.

Conor McAtasney, manager at Coaction Beara has been watching from the sidelines, as the soap opera develops. “Everybody loves a good soap opera – Fair City, Coronation Street, Eastenders. When the people receiving supports from CoAction were offered the opportunity to do drama classes, a mini soap was the first thing they wanted to do. I just hope the dramas remain on screen!”

The group are planning to air the soap on their very own YouTube channel ‘The North Roaders’, where members of the public can tune in monthly for their soap fix. However, to celebrate the launch of their very first episode they are hosting a red carpet event at Berehaven Holiday Resort on Tuesday, November 4 at 7.30pm. At this exciting event the cast and community of Coaction Beara along with locals and media will enjoy a champagne reception followed by the first three episodes of The North Roaders.

If you are interested in attending this event, please contact Amy O’Sullivan on 087 2121675 to reserve your seat.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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