IWA drama group scoops Community Care Award at Irish Healthcare Centre Awards

Members of IWA Mallow pictured with their trophy from the Irish Wheelchair Awards. They won the award for their production of the play ‘A Pot of Spuds’.

The Irish Wheelchair Association in Mallow has won the Community Care Services Healthcare Initiative Project Award at this year’s Irish Healthcare Centre Awards for their play ‘A Pot of Spuds’. The drama group, based out of Mallow, developed the award-winning play with grant support from Cork County Council. A comedy set in rural Ireland, ‘A Pot of Spuds’ opens with the death of a widowed farmer, Jackie Andy Dan Mary Batt, aka ‘Dadda’. His family, which includes nine children and Granny, return home for his funeral. However, as they arrive expecting a traditional Irish wake, the plot thickens. One by one, each of the family members is killed, painting a laugh-out-loud murder mystery, which accurately depicts the wonderful nuances of 1950s rural Ireland.
Directed by Fiona Quinn, a member of the Limerick Community Theatre Group. the amateur actors launched their production in November 2018 in collaboration with transition year students from St. Mary’s Secondary School. The production ran in the Aemilian Theatre in November. In recognition of the play’s success, it was awarded the Community Care Services Healthcare Initiative Project of the year at the Irish Healthcare Centre Award.
Margaret O’Connor, Service Manager, Irish Wheelchair Association said: “’A Pot of Spuds’ was a hugely positive experience and I am astounded at the increase in confidence I see in our members. They took complete ownership of the play right from the very beginning all the way to the Healthcare Centre Awards. I have never seen our members so committed to a project before.
“I believe the partnership approach we took with transition year students and other drama group members allowed everyone to learn together, while also raising disability awareness within the community. But, most importantly, working on the play brought everyone closer together, creating a real sense of community which they continue to demonstrate on an ongoing basis. This award is a recognition of the importance of supporting the creative process,” she said.