In brief: TP McKenna went against father's wishes and took a gamble on acting
ACTOR TP McKenna who died last week was a Cavan man who never forgot his roots, writes Dermot McMonagle.
He was proud of his grandfather and namesake, who was a founding chairman of Cavan GAA, county councillor and political associate of Arthur Griffith. At St Patrick's College TP loved GAA and winning Rannafast and McRory Cup medals. He described his selection to play minor football for Cavan in 1947: "I felt that my rite of passage to full membership was complete in more innocent times -- it was our symbol of virility and fame."
After sitting his Leaving Cert at St Patrick's, he became an Ulster Bank clerk, serving in Granard, Trim, and finally Dublin, where he joined the Dublin Shakespeare Society and the Rathmines & Rathgar Musical Society.
With a formal transfer looming to Killeshandra he quit the bank. According to his sister Sally, when TP said he was leaving the bank to go into acting, his father said: "You're on your own, there'll be nothing left for you here".
Obituary, Facing Page
Record year for Independent Digital
INDEPENDENT Digital and Independent.ie has announced another record year, according to new figures from online newspaper circulation auditors ABC Electronic.
The most dramatic news year in Ireland since the advent of the internet saw millions of people flock to Independent.ie for news and analysis. Crucially, research shows that people who use Independent.ie are highly engaged loyal users with an appetite for current affairs and the readers are more likely to be Irish.
Independent Digital racked up 3.15 million unique browsers in November, up 37 per cent on its audit just a year ago. Page views were also hugely up at 41.2 million.
"What's exceptionally interesting about these figures is that it is depth of content available on Independent.ie that is driving traffic. Independent.ie users are spending, on average, 10 minutes reading our content," said Aisling Nagle of Independent's Digital business.
Public talk on GAA founder Bracken
PR executive Brendan Bracken is giving a talk to the Clonmel Historical and Archaeological Society tomorrow on JK Bracken, one of the seven founders of the GAA, and his son Brendan, Minister for Information in Churchill's wartime government and founder of The Financial Times.
The talk is open to members of the public. It starts at 8.15pm and takes place in the Main Guard, Clonmel.
Mixed reaction for recession song
Kilkenny ballad group Na Fianna's new download single Last One to Leave Ireland Turn The Lights Out is getting mixed reaction, according to lead singer John Walsh.
"Some say it's wrong to sing a negative song when the country is going through a rough time -- but if we didn't have the few gigs we'd have to go ourselves. This is a song of anger, frustration, sadness and betrayal," said Walsh.
Dublin singer/songwriter Declan Kennedy wrote the song while waiting for a flight in Dublin Airport.
Dance the night away at 'Footloose'
There are still some tickets left for tonight's performance of Footloose at the Mill Theatre in Dundrum Town Centre.
Based on the hit 1980s movie, Footloose stars Simon Murphy, Amy Penston, Alison Var-Miller and Eoghan Fitzpatrick. More details from www.milltheatre.com.
Art project to recall famous city baths
Blackrock Baths, now sadly derelict, was once a social centre of south Dublin. Now an art project dealing with the life and times of the famous baths is being compiled.
Denise Hussey is looking for stories, anecdotes, poems and old photos based on people's memories of the baths.
For a more detailed brief, go to www.denisehussey.com.