Killarney export Jarrod Gleeson has called Koroit home for over four years.
Hailing from Tipperary stock and the son of potato and dairy farmers Heather and Paul Gleeson, it was only a matter of time before the Koroit Irish Festival committee added his name to their list of members.
In the lead up to the town’s 22nd annual event, the talented builder and former Koroit premiership player spoke with Rebecca Riddle about his connection with the three-day festival that celebrates all things Irish.
Describe the festival in five words. Music, laughs, Guinness, good times.
What will be the highlight of this year’s festival? That’s hard to say but I think the sing-a-long with Damien Leith or the new Dance Spectacular.
Have there been any changes to the festival this year? Yes, we have an extended program on Saturday night that includes the Dance Spectacular, more music and bars, and meals available until 10pm.
How long have you been on the committee and what prompted you to get involved? Four years, when we moved to Koroit. I don’t think we’d even unpacked the truck before Barry Bros Brody got me signed up. But I love the vibe and the set-up.
The ultimate Irish Festival act would be: Shane McGowan from The Pogues doing a one-off performance before he dies.
Have you been to Ireland? Yes I’ve lived there on two occasions, in 2003 and 2006, for 18 months all up.
Your favourite part of Ireland? I’d have to say the small country towns on the west coast, the ones with good surf and good pubs.
What is your favourite Irish tune? The Irish Rover or Fairytale in New York.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Doing more of the same things I love; building, surfing, travelling and watching my kids grow up and pursue their own dreams.
What is your prediction for winner of 2018 Danny Boy competition? I’d have to say Frank “Tuddy” Bowman.
Any final advice? As a committee we’re really hoping that everyone will get along to the festival and have a good time.
Finish this sentence. In 20 years time Koroit will..Still be a great place, would have won more premierships and looking for a bigger venue to host the ever-growing Irish festival.