What started as a poem almost 18 years ago finally got the wide audience it deserved and less than a week after Carrigallen’s Seamus O’Rourke uploaded his story recalling Leitrim’s Connacht Championship win in 1994 over 12,000 people have seen Seamus’s story, told in his own unique style.
By Philip Rooney
The poem has morphed into a story told in the most sincere manner, recalling a summer that will live long in the memory of all Leitrim people, even those who have no interest in football.
The fact that Seamus toiled without reward on the pitch for Leitrim during the 80’s gives the story an extra sense of poignancy and helps to really illustrate just what the trip to Croke Park to face Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final meant to the county.
Giving the background on how he became a YouTube star, Seamus recalled, “The local club secretary sent me an e-mail saying there was a company making an ad for RTE looking for people to talk about the GAA. I had a story/poem/recitation that I wrote a short time after the match and used to use it as a party piece. I never wrote it down but I remembered it and recorded it on an iPad.
“I tried to e-mail it to the production company but the file was too big so I uploaded it to YouTube and sent them a link to it.”
After the production company confirmed they had received the link, Seamus checked to see if the video had received any views and to his surprise 70 people had already seen his story, ‘The Day Leitrim played in Croke Park’.
Seamus is best known nowadays for his work as an actor, starring in numerous plays produced by The Cornmill Theatre and a play he has written is to be produced by The Backstage Theatre with Seamus taking the role of director. However, before the association with the theatre world began, Seamus recalled, “When I was a young fella I lived and breathed football. I played for Leitrim up to the age of 25 and I knew a lot of the panel that won the Connacht Championship. It is one of my big regrets not to have played in Croke Park but there was a great sense of pride seeing your mates take to the field.”
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.