INEC to be cherry on top for Dara's tour

Fergus Dennehy talks to the one and only Dara Ó Briain about his up coming ‘Voice of Reason’ show in the INEC in Killarney on Friday January26, kicking armadillos,why he loves performing in the INEC and why people sitting in the front row shouldn’t be scared if he talks to them

Dara Ó Briain
Dara Ó Briain

Dara Ó'Briain is always going to associate both Kerry and Killarney with armadillos, that's just a fact of life, he says.

The bizarre connection comes up as we are discussing the legendary Irish comedian's upcoming show, the 'Voice of Reason' in the INEC, Killarney on Friday, January 26.

"Killarney will always be magical to me, for many, many reasons, but there will always be one memory in particular that stands out amongst all the rest," said Dara, speaking to The Kerryman on Monday.

"I used to have a bit in one of my shows where I would ask members of the audience about the strangest thing that has ever happened to them on their holidays. Now, it wasn't a question that had ever really yielded that much, to be honest, except once, in Killarney," he continued, stifling a laugh at the memory.

"I asked the audience as usual and then all of a sudden, a voice from the masses just shouted out: 'Dara, I kicked an armadillo' and honestly, it was the greatest opening line to any story I'd ever heard," he laughed.

"It turns out that the guy was on a wildlife trek and he got panicked because an armadillo walked out in front of him and so in his panic, as you do, he kicked the armadillo. It was bizarre!"

"So then, I kind of re-created all this on stage, obviously it was hilarious because it was such a mad story, but then I went on and kept telling this story in different shows in the tour and honestly, it became one of the most famous stories that I have," he continued.

"People still come up to me and reference the armadillo story and this was all thanks to that night in Killarney!"

'Voice of Reason' is the new title of Dara's show and while at first, one would immediately think that the title came about because of these increasingly unsettling and madcap times that we live in, the comedian admits that initially, the name was just something random he came up with on the spot.

"The title existed long before the show existed, it was just a placeholder name to start off with. I have people in charge of things who tell me, 'Dara, we need a name for the show' and I respond with an 'eh, I haven't even written the show yet'," he laughed.

"They just wanted any name though and I sat down with a piece of paper and started writing my name next to random phrases and 'Voice of Reason' was the one that stuck."

"While I certainly didn't set out to write about this strange new time we live in, there's a moment, and you'll see it in the show, where the whole thing links together," he said.

Dara's return to the INEC comes after a three year abscence andstraight off the bat, he is quick to re-assure that all those who end up sitting in the front row of his show in the INEC on Friday, January 26, will be treated with love and kindness.

"I seem to have developed this reputation for really going after the people in the front row, I don't know where it's come from," he chuckled.

"I can only assure anybody that sits it in the front on the night that they will not be tormented or embararrassed. I'm only looking to have a bit of fun with you all - I'd be shocked if anyone went away after the show with anything other than a feeling of happiness."

That said, he admits that audience participation is a great tool for any comedian worth his salt.

"I've been doing this for so long now that I can survive without any audience stories on the night, but by god, they're great fun though."

"I'll be bringing the 99 per cent of the comedy on the night, call that the cake and any stories that crop up on the night, that will be the cherry on top of the cake. There's your headline right there, Fergus," he laughed.

Those who do attend on the night will see an exuberant Dara "skipping out onto the stage", such will be his delight at returning to the Killarney venue.

"Some venues, with as much respect as possible to the people to who work there, aren't as nice as other venues, The INEC though, it's just a beautiful spot. I mean, ye've even got curtains for feck sake - that's royalty right there," he laughed.

"You're going to see me skipping out onto the stage, with a big ol' smile on my face. Ye'll see me just enjoying being back in one of my favourite venues."

Famous for his love of science, maths and all things nerdy, it's no surprise then to learn that Dara is an avid Star Wars fan, and with Kerry having a starring role in the latest installment of the franchise, it would be remiss not to ask him his opinion of the new film.

"You know what, I'm actually going to have to go see it again," he laughed.

"It was the midnight screening and I had just come from an office function and so I was a little bit sleepy during the showing. I definitely couldn't tell you what happened at certain points; I'm going to be bringing the small fella to see it when I get the chance again though for sure."

"Ye guys have a major role in it though, with Skellig. It was stunning looking. I'd have changed one though. I'd have had Luke off of the Skelligs and I'd have had him down the Rose of Tralee festival doing lightsaber tricks for the kids. That'd have been the bigger twist!" he laughed.

Tickets to Dara's 'Voice of Reason' show are on sale now from the INEC box office or online at

Tickets will cost just €30 - doors will open on the night at 7pm with the show itself starting at 8pm - don't miss out on this great night of comedy in Killarney.