Rush Dramatic Society and the The Millbank Theatre are devastated to announce the passing of their Secretary and member of 65 years Peadar Clerkin. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Marie and daughters Sinead and Maeve, grandchildren, sisters Maura Catherine and Mairead and all his extended family.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis
Rush Dramatic Society
1955 – 2020
In the almost 100 years of its existence, Rush Dramatic Society has seen many members pass through its ranks. This year, 2020, marked the 65th consecutive year of membership of one of those happy few.
Having joined the society as a teenager in 1955, Peadar quickly became one of its mainstays and has been the stalwart of this organisation since he joined the committee in 1957 and subsequently the Board of Directors, ever since
Serving continuously as secretary from 1959 to 1978; and again from 1997 to the present day; he was instrumental in the name of Rush Dramatic Society being instantly recognisable the length and breadth of the country, through our long and rewarding participation in many theatre festivals on the amateur drama circuit. In latter times, his meticulous management of our publicity machine and patrons’ schemes have ensured our productions have drawn audiences from far a-field to the Millbank.
His contribution to those decades was many-fold, with many successful shows taking to the stage under his direction. And while the artistic programme of the 1950s reflected more innocent times, he has adapted with the years and has always been a strong proponent of extending and developing our artistic repertoire.
However, his skill as an organiser was only eclipsed by his talent as an actor and by the many award-winning performances he brought to the stage. Since his stage debut in the 1955-56 season, in “Shadow and Substance”, the list of parts he has played reads like a roll-call of modern Irish drama, particularly in the plays of Keane and O’Casey; including The Bull McCabe in The Field and Joxer Daly in Juno and The Paycock. And, of course, he will always be remembered as Da in Hugh Leonard’s play of the same name that brought the All-Ireland to Rush. He also shone as an actor in plays by Arthur Miller, Ken Kesey and John Steinbeck with his last performance being as Giles Corey in the Crucible October 2019.
Off-stage, a quiet and unassuming man – one of nature’s true gentlemen, a man of great integrity – his service to this society is unsurpassed in its passion, hard work and outstanding achievement. That service is borne out of a deep commitment to a strong and vibrant local community.
Peadar Clerkin loved Rush Dramatic Society and the Millbank Theatre and we in turn loved him. Today the Society has lost its tiller and in these strange times we will need some time to steer a proper course again. But we will. He would expect nothing less of us.
Rest peacefully Peadar and thank you for everything