A musical tribute to a true Mayo hero

We’re creatures of habit in this country. Not ones for moving away from the norm. This is especially true when it comes to socialising. We go out at the same time to meet the same people, frequent the same establishments and drink the same drinks. During the summer we might throw a concert or two into the mix. But for the most part we don’t exercise our cultural minds.

Well for a group of us from Castlebar Chamber of Commerce that all changed last week. Tempted as we were to go for a few drinks together to discuss some events that are in the pipeline, instead we accepted an invitation to The Admiral, a spectacular show of Irish and Latino music, song and dance depicting the life of Foxford native Admiral William Brown. Attending on the night was the very special guest, the Charge d'Affaires and Acting Ambassador of the Argentine Embassy of Ireland Mrs Ana Pisano de Ashton and her husband Chris de Ashton. The Chamber hosted them for dinner at Season’s Restaurant in Castlebar before the entourage headed for the show.

The Ambassador’s visit to Castlebar is expected to have far reaching consequences for the county in terms of tourism. Work in Foxford to establish a summer language school for Argentine students is at an advanced stage and has already accepted bookings for next summer. This is just one of the three points from the 20-point plan devised by the late JJ O’Hara which was left unfinished due to his untimely death but which the Admiral Brown Society are determined to see through.

The Admiral is a great opportunity to learn about the hero Admiral William Brown, the founder of the Argentine navy. This Mayo man took on South America and is hailed as Argentina’s saviour. Regarded as a national hero, in excess of 1,000 streets, 400 statues, football teams, stadiums, schools, several towns, and a major city bear his name.

The Admiral is a heroic tale of this young Mayo boy who was forced to leave his native land and travel by sea to America then England and finally Argentina. While there he fought for the freedom of his new homeland. Defying all odds he defeated empire after empire and liberated half a continent.

The breathtaking cast of mostly Mayo participants who all enjoy international acclaim bring this important Mayo story to life. They include musical director Stephen Doherty from Foxford, David and Pat Doocey from Foxford, Marianne Knight from Callow, Charlene Morrison (choreographer ) from Louisburgh, Liam Scanlon from Newport, Liam and Shauna Tighe from Belmullet, Stephen Gallagher from Attymass, Pollyanna Guesdes from Brazil and Heudes Xavier de Oliveria also from Brazil. The show is directed by Eamonn Walsh and is the joint creation of Eamonn, Liam Scanlon and Stephen Doherty of Moy Productions. It is a fantastic dedication to the work of the late JJ who spent over a decade elevating the profile of Admiral Brown in his native town of Foxford and deserves standing ovations and a packed house for the duration of it’s run at Breaffy House which continues until September 3.

With the instantly recognisable voice of Ragus’ Fergal O Murchu narrating this spectacular story, you are transported to the high seas as the young William and later the Admiral fights for freedom.

With a show of this calibre on our doorsteps every week, there is no excuse for us all not to experience Mayo’s finest performers.

The Admiral is staged every Tuesday night in Breaffy House Resort at 8pm. Tickets cost €15 for adults, €10 for children and a family of four for €45. Contact 094 902 2033.

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