Ireland’s Fab Four among top acts at annual Galway Comedy Festival


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Ireland’s Fab Four among top acts at annual Galway Comedy Festival Ireland’s Fab Four among top acts at annual Galway Comedy Festival

Irish comedy legends Tommy Tiernan, Ardal O’Hanlon, Deirdre O’Kane, and Kevin McAleer are among the headline acts at this year’s Galway Comedy Festival – and audiences will have a chance to see each of them more than once at the event.

Adopted Galwayman Tommy, who has recently enjoyed acting success on Derry Girls and Conversations With Friends, will bring his latest show, Tomfoolery to Leisureland for two nights.

Both are sold out but it’ll be back on Thursday November 24, and Thursday December 1, with tickets at now.

Ardal O’Hanlon also mixes acting and comedy, featuring in Death in Paradise, in My Hero; Doctor Who; and, most famously, on Father Ted as the gormless Fr Dougal.

In Galway, the comedian, described by The Guardian as “a complete joy to watch”, will be taking part in two shows. On Saturday, October 29, he’ll join Andrew Maxwell, Colin Murphy, Jo Caulfield, and Ross Browne at The Black Box Theatre and on Sunday, October 30, he’ll team up with Barry Murphy and Jo Caulfield at the Town Hall Theatre.

Ardal and Barry go back a long way. Along with Kevin Gildea, they founded the International Comedy Cellar in Dublin’s International Bar in the late 1980s and it became a launch pad for the Irish comedy explosion of the 1990s, hosting early shows by Tommy Tiernan, Dylan Moran, Des Bishop and Eddie Izzard.

Deirdre O’Kane

In a largely male-dominated business, Deirdre O’Kane has carved out her own distinctive career to become one of Ireland’s favourite comedians. She brings her new show, Demented, to The Galmont Hotel’s Veranda Bar on Thursday, October 27, and the Róisín Dubh on Friday October 28.

Deirdre has had a hectic two years. She fronted her own talk show, RTÉ One’s Deirdre O’Kane Talks Funny; debuted a new stand-up comedy series, The Deirdre O’Kane Show; and was a judge on The Big Deal on Virgin Media Television.

More impressively, she co-founded Comic Relief in Ireland, and presented the critically acclaimed RTÉ Does Comic Relief. It raised more than €6 million to help people most in need as a result of Covid-19 and reached more than 1.4 million viewers across Ireland.

Other issues Deirdre has been dealing with include the menopause, teenage children, older parents and ageing.

All these will make up the stories and tales of why she is so Demented.

Kevin McAleer, who first came to prominence on RTÉ’s Nighthawks which began broadcasting in the late 1980s, has won a new generation of fans playing Uncle Colm in Derry Girls.

He will perform his new show, Why Am I Here?, in the Róisín on Saturday October 29, and is part of a mixed bill show in the Black Box Theatre on October 30.

Why Am I Here? was inspired by him being a philosophical teenager and an uncomfortable brush with the British Army. It will include free-flowing, oddball, stories, full of eccentric characters and situations – something like Uncle Colm’s yarns.

In fact, Kevin often begins his shows these days by clarifying that he’s not Uncle Colm.

Tickets for all shows are on sale at


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