My Tipperary Life with musical star Rachel Breen

Niamh Dillon


Niamh Dillon


My Tipperary Life with musical star Rachel Breen

Rachel Breen stars as Holly in The Wedding Singer with Tipperary Musical Society

Rachel Breen, from Donaskeigh, stars as Holly in The Wedding Singer with Tipperary Musical Society, from Monday 17 - Saturday February 22 in Tipperary Excel.

Rachel graduated this year from a B.A in Music and English at Mary Immaculate College where she took part in productions of A Chorus Line, Godspell and the Irish premiere of Starlight Express. Rachel is now currently completing a Masters of Education at the University of Limerick.

What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend in Tipperary?

A perfect day in Tipperary for me would be a hike up the Glen of Aherlow to the Rock of Thorabh, followed by dinner in O' Neills Bistro, Thomastown.

Who has made the greatest contribution to Tipperary in your lifetime - and why?

We have a great music tradition and heritage here in Tipperary across all genres, and there are numerous artists who have made substantial contributions to Tipperary. These include The Clancy Brothers, Micheál O' Súilleabháin, Shane McGowan, Frank Patterson, and Una Healy.

Another local musician who has also made a substantial contribution to Tipperary from a musical perspective was Danny Ryan. Danny Ryan’s music shop has been a regular haunt of local musicians and performers since 1971, and was where I so fondly remember buying my very first instrument from at only seven years of age.

What's your first Tipperary memory?

One of my earliest Tipperary memories was in primary school when I finally got the cop on to wear a Tipp jersey instead of listening to my Corkonian mother Breeda and wearing a Cork one. Tiobraid Árann abú!

What's your favourite part of the county - and why?

Along with the Glen of Aherlow, my favourite parts of the county are definitely the Swiss Cottage and also the Fairytrail in the park in Templemore. These are both hidden gems and idyllic rural escapes.

What do you think gives Tipperary its unique identity?

Tipperary is blessed with beautiful scenery, certainly on par with any county situated along the beautiful and renowned wild Atlantic way, despite being landlocked. To me, this is what gives Tipperary its unique identity.

Do you have a favourite local writer or author?

Two of my favourite local authors have little to nothing in common, except for the fact they were both born in Clonmel. The first of these is Laurence Sterne (1713) and the second is Roz Purcell (1990).

What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?

One of the biggest challenges facing Tipperary today is the decimation and neglect of small rural towns and communities. I find it intriguing that whenever a new building or shop is being built (for example Tesco, then Dunnes Stores and then the Tipperary Town Plaza), it is built further and further out the Limerick road.

Before we know it, what’s left of Tipperary Town will soon be on top of Limerick City.

If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Tipperary, what would it be?

If I had the power to change one thing in Tipperary, I’d have it closer to the sea (and bypass it too!).

Catch Rachel and the cast of Tipperary Musical Society in the Wedding Singer at the Excel Theatre, Tipperary town from February 17 to 22. Tickets on sale now from 062 80520.