Killester player-turned-actor Eoghain Kiernan prepares for another big stage this weekend, as his club take on Demons in the Super League quarter-final play-offs.
The Dubliner returned to the sport this season after a four-year break studying at the New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.
However, Kiernan (above) has also kept his hand in acting and secured a part in the Netflix series, Vikings Valhalla, being filmed in Co Wicklow.
Following a five- to sixth-month period of readjustment, the 26-year-old feels he is now back up to speed on the court. The hiatus has helped on the hardwood.
“I relate sport and acting very closely together because it’s a performance,” Kiernan said. “It’s a lot of the same principles; the harder you try, the worse you’ll do.”
His 6ft 9in frame also helps. A teacher at Castleknock College suggested he pick up the sport when he was 17. School was also where he got introduced to acting, and a fellow schoolmate made him realise it could be a career.
“He said, ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to the Lir (acting academy)’ and it just never occurred to me to do it, and I started thinking if he can do it, I can do it,” Kiernan recalled.
“Unfortunately, he never got to do it because he passed away. That reminded me of the old cliché, life is short. He didn’t get to do it and I’m going to make sure I do the thing I want to do.”
Kiernan happened upon a path to the US acting school when preparing to audition for a short film in a Dublin hotel, where the academy was also happened to be auditioning for new students.
He walked into the wrong room, which would, ultimately, earn him a scholarship to New York.
“They do auditions in private, but they always audition someone in front of everyone else, to show what it’s like. They wanted to use me as a guinea pig, so I said, ‘Why not? I’ve already got my monologue ready to audition anyway’.”
He plans to seal Killester’s place in the semi-finals with victory over UCC Demons in Cork’s Mardyke Arena on Sunday.
“That’s where the cup semi-finals are played and we have plenty of experience of that,” he said.
“They’ve a lot of talent and they’re a physical team. From playing UCC before, they always bring in a good crowd, so that’s going to be tough.”
Although, with Kiernan back in Killester’s ranks, there’s no better man for the big stage.
Super League play-off quarter-finals
Tomorrow: Éanna v Ballincollig, Coláiste Éanna, 7.30; Maree v Sligo All-Stars, NUIG Kingfisher, 7.0; Belfast Star v Neptune, De La Salle College, 6.30.
Sunday: Demons v Killester, Mardyke Arena, 4.0.
Women’s Play-off quarter-finals
Tomorrow: Waterford Wildcats v Killester, Mercy SS, 2.45
Sunday: Trinity Meteors v Liffey Celtics, Marian College, 4.0