On The Buses: Public transport gets CCCahoots treatment

On The Buses: Public transport gets CCCahoots treatment
ON THE BUSESCCCahoots Dominic MacHale. and his father Des. Picture Dan Linehan

PASSENGERS were oblivious to the imposters among them as they went about their journeys this week.

Dominic MacHale, who plays Garda Sergeant Healy in the RTÉ television show The Young Offenders joined his colleagues from comedy group, CCCahoots, Laura O’Mahony and Tadhg Hickey, as they donned some quirky disguises on the 203 - linking Cork city to Ballyphehane. 

It offered a taste of what we can expect from their upcoming show in Cork Opera House on Thursday, January 31. The stars of RTÉ’s The School are no strangers to public transport.

Given his celebrity status, Dominic has become accustomed to being recognised on his regular bus route.

ON THE BUSESCCCahoots comedy members Tadhg Hickey and Laura O’ Mahony on the bus with passenger Donal Moore. Picture Dan Linehan
ON THE BUSESCCCahoots comedy members Tadhg Hickey and Laura O’ Mahony on the bus with passenger Donal Moore. Picture Dan Linehan

Nevertheless, it was Tadhg and Laura who were left star struck after meeting their On the Buses hero, Donal Moore.

The hilarious partners in crime approached the 72-year-old as characters from their favourite sketch:’ The Clogged Couple’.

He was happy enough to join the conversation, no matter how outrageous it got.

Despite, only being “discovered” less than a year ago, Donal has already become the most featured passenger to date in the Evening Echo’s On the Buses column.

“We spent ages trying to track you down,” Tadhg confessed. “That’s why we’re on the bus.”

They heard about the first time Donal was approached by the Evening Echo.

“This woman approached me and said she wanted an Echo,” Donal explained.

“I thought she was a tourist and directed her to the shop. It turned out I’d misheard. What she had actually said was that she was from the Echo. I did an interview and the following Thursday it was in the Echo, word from word.”

The Clogged Couple were keen to use Donal’s newfound celebrity to their advantage.

“Do you think you could put in a good word for us so we can get bus passes?” Tadhg asked.

Meanwhile, Dominic MacHale was having trouble fighting off one of his biggest fans in a chance encounter like none other.

His dad Des MacHale just so happened to be travelling on the 203 as well.

“My proudest moment was probably seeing Dom play Michael Collins,” Des said, of the play A Great Arrangement which Dominic starred in alongside Cork actor Irene Kelleher.

Dominic admits he is often greeted by hushed whispers on the route following his rise to stardom in CCCahoots and The Young Offenders.

A former musical theatre star, an alternative plumber and a bemused doctor are just some of the alter egos he channels through his work with CCCahoots.

“I often hear whispers on the 203,” he laughed. “Mainly people asking, ‘is that him?’”

“It’s always nice when someone comes up to me. We forget the powerful impact comedy can have. One woman who approached me detailed how watching our sketches had helped her through a difficult time in her life. She loved looking forward to them every week. To think that our sketches have the power to add brightness to a person’s life means an awful lot.”

While the three have become a close-knit team, Dominic stressed there is still room for a new member.

“If I was to add anyone to the group it would have to be Will Ferrell,” he laughed.

ON THE BUSESCCCahoots Claire O’Connell. Picture Dan Linehan
ON THE BUSESCCCahoots Claire O’Connell. Picture Dan Linehan

Producer of the show Claire O’Connell was also travelling with the trio.

“I left accounting to pursue work in theatre,” she explained.

“It was becoming too boring and I didn’t want to be stuck in an office all day. There were people at the time who thought I was crazy for leaving such a well-paying and secure job. However, now I have a job I can appreciate. I never once considered going back.”

The producer has high hopes for the company.

“I’d love to see it go international,” she said. “While I wouldn’t like to live in the US I’d love if we had a chance to tour there with the show.”

For now, the performers are eagerly counting down to their show in Cork Opera House.

“I’m looking forward to being on a massive stage,” Laura said.

ON THE BUSESCCCahoots Laura O’Mahony. Picture Dan Linehan
ON THE BUSESCCCahoots Laura O’Mahony. Picture Dan Linehan

Laura, who recently guest starred in the RTÉ comedy, Bridget and Eamon, never fails to entertain off stage either.

“I often get caught in situations where I think I know someone but they actually just recognise me from my performance. The funny thing is I’m chatting to them like they’re a friend so they probably think I’m a weirdo by the end of it,” she joked.

Tadhg, Laura and Dominic will star in a night of live sketches in Cork Opera House on Thursday, January 31 at 8pm. Visit www.corkoperahouse.ie. Tickets are priced at €21.

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