Eugene O’Brien: “A little word of encouragement can set you on the path to your dreams”

When we are young we have dreams or ambitions that we don’t even dare to cherish. We’re full of, “I’m pretending I don’t care, so I can’t fail.” But often any encouragement from an elder we respect falls so far apart, and we can admit to a burning desire to follow the dreamed path.

On Easter 1985, my brother, a buddy, and his two buddies from cooking school got together as a band to attend a local talent show. We were sort of post-punk, new wave and the gimmick was me and the brother – who couldn’t play an instrument – beat the shit out of metal objects and were the percussion section of the group.

My job was to bang an old metal cart wheel with an iron bar that was pulled down to my waist and had “Eat metal you f**kers” scrawled on my chest in black marker.

I’m sure we sounded terrible and the judge didn’t put us through, but he did something far more useful. He showed interest and encouraged. The judge was Pat Ingoldsby, known for the Pat’s hat Broadcast on RTÉ children’s television. Pat brought a unique silliness, a goofy presence that kids loved, which definitely set the tone The cave and all its anarchy.

Pat really was a poet and had written plays for children before getting a spot on television. There is a forthcoming documentary about his life detailing how he started out with a steady 9-to-5 insurance job to please his father but then left for the UK.

He traveled and slept restlessly and lived life and was found to be suffering from depression or some type of bipolar disorder which was treated with electric shocks.

After ending his television career, Pat was a fixture in Dublin city center around the Bank of Ireland on Westmoreland Street, where he sold his self-published books of poetry.

That Easter in 1985 we met Pat. He was nice and asked us to do a demo tape and he would see what he could do. We were amazed by his interest and enthusiasm. There was nothing you couldn’t do if you really wanted to.

We made a very crude tape in my mate Fearghal’s garage using an old cassette player and sent it in – and unsurprisingly heard nothing back.

But that ability to work on his dreams never left Fearghal, who would later go on to form Whipping Boy, a cult band that soared in the 1990s and spawned the still-famous trailblazer heartworm Album.

Being in bands wasn’t my dream, it was just a little crazy. I had always dreamed of film sets. Later that year in the summer I was fortunate enough to be on the set of the Irish film On the Moor in Lullymore, Co. Kildare Eat the peach. It was a gentle wannabe Ealing comedy based on two men who erected a wall of death after watching an Elvis movie.

My dad knew one of the producers, so I stayed with the shoot for a week. I climbed the wall of death and chatted with the extras and realized how slow and tedious filmmaking actually is. But it certainly didn’t put me off and I met the great Eamon Morrissey, who starred in the film, and a young producer, David Collins – two men I would meet again much later in life

Nineteen years later, in 2004, I was in rehearsal for my second piece, savoy. As my first piece, a lot was expected of him, Eden, was a big hit. About 10 days before opening, one of our main actors had to drop out due to health reasons and the Boulder Eamon was drafted in a very short period of time.

Eamon saved the show – as in, it was hung up – but unfortunately it wasn’t very good. It was all about the cinema at home in Edenderry. There were great Midlands cinema paradise Weirdness and color, but the play didn’t know what its heart was. What was it trying to say?

Luckily I didn’t have much time to think about his failure. Later that summer, RTÉ said it would do Pure mule, a TV show we had been developing with RTÉ and Channel 4 the year before, but Channel 4 had pulled out and put it on hold. Now we were back in business.

One of the producers was David Collins and the show would be a huge hit, winning IFTAs and more importantly it seems to have held on to people’s affections.

My other dream as a teenager was to one day write a book, and the pandemic gave me the opportunity to do so. Pure mule was repeated on TV and the good people at Gil Publishers were watching and thinking maybe I could be a man with a book in me.

You have not prescribed any Pure mule Book. I was the one who decided I really wanted to re-enter the life of Scobie Donoghue who was 25 in the original series, younger brother to Shamie, two brothers who joined at the hip, worked on the buildings and at her mother lived.

Scobie was the mad merchant, a hard-drinking womanizer. The king of the weekends. After the collapse of the construction industry, he followed his brother to Australia. Now that he’s turning 40, the book go backHe takes up his story again.

He has returned home from Oz after a relationship with the only woman he has ever truly loved ended. Running out of a road, he’s back to seek refuge in Offaly. But what’s stopping him from settling down?

The book came out about four weeks ago and received positive reviews, but books can take a while to find their audience, so I’ll have to be patient.

In the meantime I had a game heaven, at the Dublin Theater Festival. not how savoy, I know what this is about. I know what matters. It was an absolute thrill to see the audience’s reaction and to see actors Janet Moran and Andrew Bennett bring the characters to life.

They wrap up a national tour this week and then we head to New York in January for an Off-Broadway gig. The show was produced by Fishamble, a pleasure to work with and directed by the amazing Jim Culleton.

So it’s been a fantastic couple of months. Years can go by without anything coming out. You work and you’re busy and you write, but projects stall and don’t materialize, and you can become disillusioned and sour, and the black dogs of doubt can overwhelm you. But you just have to believe in it and keep going

There’s also a movie coming out next year. But more on that when the time comes. I’m in shameless promotion mode. Christmas is coming and a perfect Pressie is go back, a warm-hearted page-turner who hopes to lift the lid on what’s going on in our rural towns. It’s an easy read with plenty of comical banter, but the material can be difficult at times.

Ultimately, it’s a book about hope and the ability we all have to change and live lives that match who we really are. Like Pat Ingoldsby, who all those years ago gave up the safe work path and plowed his own way.

go back are available in all good bookstores. Go ahead and pick it out, or maybe I’ll just follow in Pat’s footsteps and hit the road and sell it direct. Eugene O’Brien: “A little word of encouragement can set you on the path to your dreams”

Fry Electronics Team

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