Horslips drummer Eamon Carr (left) with Charles O'Connor, Jim Lockhart, Barry Devlin and Johnny Fean.

Former Horslips drummer and an ancient tale for our times

Kells man and former Hoslips drummer Eamon Carr delved back into the mists of Irish mythology for inspiration for his play, CuChulainn Awakes, which will be shown as part of the online St Patrick's Day Festival celebrations.

The play will be screened on TV on SPFTV tomorrow Monday (15th March) at 12.30 pm. This is usually Oireachtas TV (Sky Channel 517) but the St Patrick’s Festival organisers have utilised the channel to screen various aspects of the national celebrations from the 15th to the 17th.

Carr, known far and wide from his days with Horslips - one of the most successful bands ever to emerge from Ireland - originally broadcast the play towards the end of last year but it got only a brief airing. Now viewers can have a closer look at the production.

In the play Carr once more invokes the Ghost of CúChulainn, the powerful central character of his verse play Dusk which was hailed as a success when staged at the GPO and New Theatre in Dublin by Red Iron Productions in 2016. Dusk featured actors Garrett Lombard, Caoimhe Mulcahy and Denis Conway.

A central theme of CuChulainn Awakes is the communal spirit of courage and resilience that can be awakened in a time of crisis. CúChulainn Awakes features Garrett Lombard as CúChulainn, Denis Conway as the visionary Seer and Olwen Fouéré as the Chorus who have been described as "a triumvirate of exciting Irish talent who breathe fresh life into the legendary Irish icon."

The play is produced by Andy Cummins with composer Denis Clohessy and film-maker Killian Ginnity, who has strong connections with Meath, also involved. The performances were filmed during the lockdown in April, May and June of 2020 obeying all government directives on social distancing and without any of the cast actually meeting in person.

Carr often delved into his deep knowledge of Celtic Mythology when writing songs during his Horslips days with the lyrics of one of the bands best known numbers Dearg Doom, which roughly translates as 'Red Destroyer' and is based on feats of the ancient warrior, ChChuliann.