SCREAMING fans filled the auditorium of the Dunamaise Arts Centre last week, when heartthrob actor, Robert Sheehan returned to his home town of Portlaoise to launch a special fundraiser for the centre entitled Red or Black.
Scheduled to take place on Friday, March 15, Red or Black is designed to help raise valuable funds for the Dunamaise, which last year reported a €24,000 deficit. With cash prizes and highly entertaining games, organisers expect Red or Black to be a great night out for all and an excellent way of supporting the Dunamaise.
Addressing the packed auditorium of the Dunamaise last Thursday (December 27), Robert, star of hit RTE show Love/Hate, enthused: “Some of the most magical moments of my life were standing on this stage. Every time you get to be on stage it’s a transcendental experience.
“This theatre should stay open in Portlaoise, it’s magical and electric and I’m happy to be doing whatever I can to help keep this theatre open.”
Robert said it was great to see such a turnout for the launch and he graciously spent time meeting and greeting his fans and posing for photographs.
Chairman of the Dunamaise, Mr Louis Brennan said the launch was a massive occasion for the Dunamaise and he proclaimed that the centre has a brilliant future ahead of it. Mr Brennan told the audience that four committees have now been set up to fundraise for the centre and everyone involved is very enthusiastic.
Introducing Robert, Mr Brennan made a wry allusion to the Laois actor’s best known role in Love/Hate: “I spent an hour and a half in an office with Robert Sheehan and no gun was produced, he didn’t threaten anyone and not one bad word was used.”
Praising the star, Mr Brennan said he was privileged and proud that “one of our own” has achieved such greatness and he said that as an actor, Robert is second to none.
He also revealed that Robert has agreed to act as an ambassador for the Dunamaise, championing the centre at a national level.
In relation to the fundraiser, Mr Brennan revealed that the centre hopes to gather between €15,000 and €20,000 from Red or Black, which requires the involvement of many local groups. On the night there will be a number of tasks to be completed by the pre-entered teams, coloured either red or black, with a €1,500 jackpot and other cash prizes up for grabs.
The event will be hosted by hurling legend and RTE Sunday Game analyst Michael Duignan and starts at 8pm at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel.
Tickets for Red or Black priced at €15 are on sale now from the Dunamaise Arts Centre box office. For more information, telephone 057 8663355 or visit online at www.dunamaise.ie.