Gerry Bitt who has local roots in Drombane through his grandfather presents a comedy “When are you Going Back?” in Upperchurch Community Centre this Friday and Saturday night at 8pm. Tickets are only €10 for Adults for what promises to be a great night in Upperchurch.
I asked Gerry about his connection to Upperchurch and his interest in bringing his comedy to the Community Centre
“I was born and raised in NY, living in Virginia the past 20 years. My grandfather John Britt came from Ballyfinnane, Drombane in 1906. His future wife Ellen Holohan was from Urlingford, Co. KK and arrived in NY in 1903. Both families have long local histories. My mother’s people are from Clare and Dublin. They’ve been in NY since the early 19th century. I have Ryans in my family and am therefore related to every soul, dead or alive, in north Tipp. 🙂
I finally got to Ireland in 2007 and after much research found my grandfather’s home in 2008. Since then I’ve returned to Upperchurch-Drombane at least once a year from 2011, more than a dozen trips total, and connected with my KK and Tipp kin (a tough combo around hurling! Thank God Upperchurch-Drombane and KK both wear the black-and-amber).
My book came out in 2014. A story from it was featured in Irish Lives Remembered magazine. I’ve written for Tourism Ireland and the Upp-Dro Historical Journal. Talking about the Journal article to local Billy Clancy led to my completing the play for the upcoming production.
This is my first play. It’s about a clueless Yank who comes to a rural village to trace his roots, a local pub threatened with foreclosure, and a promising racehorse who just might save them both.
I love the country and its people and am proud to carry dual citizenship. I’ll wave my Irish passport around at the slightest provocation and plan to retire there. I’ll sing an ol’ tune at the drop of a hat and talk your ears off til the wee hours. I’m a Mick Collins nut, can whack a sliotar a bit, own a fine pair of wellies, and have played baseball in Shanganagh Park. “