Monday, October 26, 2020

A 16 year old Ballina-based musical director has highlighted the impact that Covid-19 restrictions on the arts is having on all those that enjoy that sector.

Jack Cronin founded the Kilmoremoy Kids Drama Group four years ago and has been staging sell-out children’s musical productions, starring local children in aid of worthy charitable causes every year since.

His efforts have been formally recognised with numerous award nominations including the RehabCare Mayo Young Person of the Year which he won in 2018.

Emily Blunt with Jack Cronin

Actress Emily Blunt surprised Jack Cronin and the Kilmoremoy Kids Drama Group members by visiting one of their rehearsals while she was filming in the Ballina area last year.

On October 22 last, Jack marked the 4th birthday of the Kilmoremoy Kids Drama Group with a heart-felt post on the organisation’s Facebook page.

He contrasted the empty “what to do today” experience of Covid times to the usual reality of this time of year when the Kilmoremoy Kids would be counting down the weeks to debuting their latest exciting production.

Jack explained that he and the group’s committee, members and their parents have explored every possible avenue to stage a show this year but to no avail, given the Covid-19 pandemic and associated public health guidelines.

He described the decision as heart-breaking: “Speaking for myself, Kilmoremoy Kids Drama Group is my life line,” he wrote, adding that children and adults who attend performing arts classes, drama groups, choirs etc miss their sessions so so much.

Noting the calls and petitions to keep gyms open for people’s mental health, Jack stressed that Ireland’s arts sector is huge and just as important an outlet for many people and yet there is not nearly as big a push to sustain arts facilities and activities for people’s mental health.

Noting that it is not known when the arts will return to normal, Jack concluded by appealing to people to abide by the Covid-19 public health guidelines and to support the arts when they do return.

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