Micko in call to arms amidst all good-time Charlies
IT'S time to give something back. GAA legend Mick O'Dwyer yesterday called on local communities to face down the recession and promote their local areas.
The former Kerry, Kildare, Laois and Wicklow manager was practising what he preached in Waterville, Co Kerry, as he led 108 Charlie Chaplin lookalikes on a walk of the promenade in the footsteps of the famous comic who strolled that path every day he spent in the seaside village.
It was all to promote the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival, which was hosted by the Co Kerry village this weekend and of which Micko is an ambassador.
"What we need all over the country now is for people to get up and get promoting their areas," he told the Irish Independent.
"That's what we need and all these big wages that are being paid to people in high positions, these people should take a big drop and say, 'we're going to do something for our country now'.
"The country has been good to everybody so I think it's about time that everyone in this country put something back into it."
Chaplin's film 'The Circus' won an academy award back in 1928, but its genius still struck a chord with audiences who enjoyed it once more in Fossett's 'big top' on Saturday night. That viewing took place ahead of the inaugural film awards that attracted 105 entries from all over the world, including Russia and Australia.
Indeed, the eyes of the world were on Waterville where there were representatives of media from the US and the BBC World Service. The festival has also been given the seal of approval by the Chaplin family and Charlie's daughter Josephine is its patron.
Chaplin's grandson, Arthur Gardin, who has been coming to Waterville every summer since he was a child, said: "I love Waterville and this makes me love the place even more."
An estimated 5,000 visited the village over the course of the weekend, with 500 people donning 1920s-style dress for the Tramps' Ball in the big top on Friday night. "It's surpassed all our expectations. Who would have thought a year ago that it would end up such a great success," said Joe McGill, its marketing manager.
Now the organisers are planning to make the Chaplin Film Festival an annual event and in the midst of recession will be pushing the festival motto -- just smile.