Opening night at Offaly's new arts centre is sold out, Offaly Express

April 17, 2023
Photo credits: Offaly Express

The theatre in Tullamore will open its doors to the public for the first time on Friday, April 14 with a gala fundraising concert featuring the award winning Academy of Music, the Dublin Welsh Male Choir and the Tullamore Stage School Ladies Choir.

Tickets for the event were on sale for €50 each, a price that includes a champagne and canape reception.

“We've had a phenomenal response and we're very grateful to people for their support. It sold out in two-and-a-half days,” said John Lyons, Tullamore Lyons Club.

Over 220 tickets were sold, guaranteeing a packed house on what will be an historic evening for the long awaited community arts facility.

The Dublin Welsh Male Choir are making their debut appearance in Tullamore and sing in four part harmony, in the great tradition of Welsh male voice choirs.

The Tullamore Stage School Ladies Choir is under the direction of the award winning Regina McCarthy.

Online ticket sales for the night were handled by Tullamore company, Future Ticketing.

“Future Ticketing have done a brilliant job for us and have been very generous with their time and energy,” said Mr Lyons.

Ray Quinn, head of venues and entertainment at Future Ticketing, and a man with 30 years of experience in entertainment from retail to promoting, said his company was also very pleased with ticket sales.

“We're delighted to be associated with the Lions Club for the first event in the Arts Centre,” said Mr Quinn.

An online Art Auction has also been organised by the Lions Club on the day.  Nationally known artist Vincent Devine, whose portrait of cervical cancer awareness campaigner Vicky Phelan raised €58,000 at auction in aid of charity, and Fergal McCabe, architect and town planner and member of the Watercolour Society of Ireland, were just two of many local artists who this week responded to the call by Tullamore Lions club for donations.

The online auction is part of a trio of fundraising events being organised by Tullamore Lions Club for the Esker Arts Centre, which also includes the concert and raffle.

Clare native Vincent Devine (pictured below second from left with Dymphna Bracken, Tullamore Lions Club, Will Faulkner, Midlands 103, Gerry Walsh and Christy Maye, Tullamore Lions Club) who had a sell-out show of the Irish debut of his new Manifesto work to one of Ireland’s most prominent collectors has donated a bespoke commission that will be won by the highest bidder.

His work has been lauded by big stars such as Shakira, Will.I.Am and Alanis Morissette to name a few and he has had work commissioned by Tyra Banks, Roisin Murphy, Iggy Azalea and had his work featured on Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour.`

“I want to paint something you cannot hold in the palm of your hand or see with the naked eye,” observed Vincent.

His work also includes a portrait of the late SDLP founder John Hume which had a €50,000 price tag when it went on show at the Art Source event in the RDS last year and subsequently sold.

At that event, Devine's work hung alongside Andy Warhol's 1975 portrait of Mick Jagger, signed by both the artist and the singer and valued at €125,000, as well as two Banksy prints – Stop And Search, and Napalm.

Fergal McCabe’s compelling donation is a mixed up image of all the great architecture of the Irish monastic period including Clonfert Cathedral, Cormac’s Chapel, Glendalough and Clonmacnoise which will be of local and national interest.

The events on Friday, April 14 will kick off with the online Art Auction being organised by Tullamore Lions Club, supported by Tullamore man Brendan Hannigan, LSL Auctions and promoted by Midlands 103 Radio.

Members of the public will be able to view on line and bid on the art pieces prior to the auction at Up to 40 pieces of art have already been donated. The organisers are still accepting pieces of art from local and surrounding artists. Anybody wishing to donate one of their pieces for the Auction in support of Esker Arts, Tullamore, should contact in the next week.

John Lyons from the Lions Club said art pieces will be displayed in shop prizes around the town, as will prizes for the raffle.

“All of the art has been donated free of charge and we are very grateful to all of the artists,” said Mr Lyons.

The raffle has a first price of €1,000, along with numerous other prices including weekends away, a TV and golf and meal vouchers. Tickets are now available from Lions Club members and through selected outlets. The draw will take place on the night of the concert.

Source:, Published by Tribune reporter, 29 Mar 2023 12:42 PM.