Thursday, May 25, 2023

A special concert will honour the late Des Manahan (1934-2021) at Dunmore East’s Haven Hotel on June 25.

A concert marking the wonderful 60-year stage career of the late, great Des Manahan, who died on January 22, 2021, will be held at the Marquee in Dunmore East’s Haven Hotel on Sunday, June 25 (5pm-7pm).

Des’s obsequies were held during the Covid-19 restrictions, which prevented his loved ones and  extensive circle of friends and stage colleagues from providing him with the send-off he so richly deserved.

This concert, bringing together an array of musical theatre talent, will provide performers and audience members alike with a welcome opportunity to honour Des, a man whose integrity ran ever deeper than his theatrical gifts.

Speaking to the Waterford News & Star, David Hennessy of AIMS Award nominated ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ said he had been approached by Paul Kelly of the Haven Hotel to help co-ordinate the event.

“Given that Des sadly left us during Covid, having been such a theatre legend and such a huge influence in the lives and careers of so many people over the years, we were gutted that we couldn’t celebrate his theatrical life in an appropriate way at the time due to the restrictions,” said David.

“Des’s last show was ‘Cats’ in which he played Gus the Theatre Cat and I was in touch with him a good few times during the pandemic so we’d kept in touch during that tough period and I look back on those chats and working with him in ‘Cats’ as a huge privilege and something I’ll always be grateful for.”

David continued: “Paul Kelly of the Haven Hotel, whose father was best friends with Des, spoke to me about putting on a tribute for Des at the Haven, where Des played every Friday night, somewhere he had such a long and happy connection with. So this concert is going to be a wonderful opportunity to honour Des’s amazing career and I’m so delighted to help Paul put this concert together. It really should be an evening to remember.”

With further performers on the night to be confirmed between now and June 25, members of Waterford Musical Society, which Des was the proud patron of, will perform at the concert under the Musical Direction of Wayne Brown.

Fellow Musical Director David Hayes, who worked with Des in a range of productions including ‘Cats’, will also perform at the event. Megan Cassidy, who performed in a production of ‘Guys And Dolls’ with Des, will sing at the concert, along with Greta Rochford, Martina Shanahan (nee Flynn), Tobie Hickey, Lupita De Bhail and Derek Ryan.

Said David: “This was an easy sell to them all given who the concert is honouring and we’re really looking forward to paying tribute to Des in such a fitting way. It’s going to be a lovely evening and it’ll such a pleasure to meet Mona and all of the Manahan family at the Haven.”

Tickets for ‘Remembering Des Manahan’ are priced €20 and are available online at or via The David Hennessy Stage School and Waterford Musical Society Facebook pages. All proceeds will be donated to the Manahan family.

And please note that, courtesy of Paul Kelly, free buses will be running back to Waterford City after the concert.

Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

More Waterford News

First House Scheme launches in Tramore

More by this Journalist