RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival 2024

May 2nd – May 10th 2024, Dean Crowe Theatre

Awards on May 11th, Radisson Hotel Athlone

Ballyduff Drama Group, directed by Ger Canning, were crowned RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival champions for their performance of ‘The Ferryman’ by Jez Butterworth at the Gala Awards ceremony in Athlone’s Radisson Blu Hotel on Saturday May 11th as the curtain came down on the 2024 RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival. The festival is held under the auspices of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland (ADCI). 2024 is a special year as it marks the 20th Year of RTÉ as title sponsor of the festival, and Adrian Lynch, Deputy Director General of RTÉ, presented the final award.


The Finalists





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2024 Events

The Draw

14th April 2024

The Draw on Stage

Schools Playwright

29th April 2024

2023 Schools Playwright

The Abbey

25th April 2024

The Abbey Launch

Fringe Festival

from 27th April 2024

The Dean Crowe Theatre Fringe Festival

Confined Drama Play

1st May 2024

Dean Crowe Theatre at Night

Shop Window Display

1st may 2024 

Window Painting

Launch and Opening Night

2nd May 2024

Award Trophies

Gala Awards Night

11th May 2024

Award Trophies


Regina Bushell

As the director of the RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival It was an absolute pleasure again this year to visit a number of the ADCI festivals around the country and meet up with the hard working committees and get to see many of the plays that have made it to the All Ireland finals here in Athlone. It was so positive to hear that most festivals reported that their audience numbers were recovering well after Covid and that there were many nights where they had full houses. I wish to thank all festivals for their amazing voluntary work year after year. Without the groups and Festivals we would not be gathering together in Athlone to celebrate the cream of amateur drama in Ireland.

The 2023 All Ireland Drama Festival was a very special year as the Amateur Drama Council Of Ireland founded in Athlone in 1953, celebrating its 70th Anniversary. It is an amazing success story and one I am so proud to be part of it for the last 40 years. All around the country festivals have taken place and the nine best plays, all of them multi award winners, will arrive in Dean Crowe Theatre in Athlone on a level playing pitch to battle it out for the RTÉ All Ireland Title.
 The plays will bring up many emotions and will, excite, delight, surprise and shock the Athlone audience. For 70 years the people of Athlone have supported the committee and this year is no different. Plans are in place for decoration of the town, the retailers are getting behind the Shop Window Display and  many more activities.

Regina Bushell Director

The Adjudicator

Tom Byrne ADA

Tom is a native of Celbridge, Co Kildare but lives in nearby Leixlip.

He has over 45 years involvement with amateur drama and competed in his first festival in 1979.

He started his drama life with the Leixlip Theatre Group and saw stints with the Dublin Youth Theatre and Dublin Shakespeare Society among others. He went on to establish Bradān Players Leixlip and more recently Red Embers Theatre Company. Over the years Tom has directed over 120 different productions.

He has won numerous awards as a director and he competed in the RTE All Ireland Finals in Athlone in 2009 and 2010.

He holds the unique record of qualifying productions to six successive All Ireland Open One Act Finals – directing winning productions in 2005,2009 and 2010.In the finals of 2005, he not alone won with his production of “Small Box Psychosis” but also directed “Babels In Arms” which finished in third place.

Tom has written several works including a radio play “Howzee” surrounding his experiences as a football referee. Other recent works include, “The Other Land”(Red Embers),”Searching for Baggio”(Gap Arts),”Hand Bag”(Claremorris Fringe),”Gear”(Theatre Express, Cork), “Borussia Monchengladbach”(Amigo Productions, Wexford) and a one man play entitled “Being Robbie Keane”

Since taking up adjudicating in 2011 he has adjudicated at ADCI qualifying festivals throughout the four provinces of Ireland.

In addition, he has adjudicated the Macra na Feirme national finals on two occasions, the 2016 All Ireland One Act Finals (Dundrum) and the 2018 All Ireland Confined Finals (South Wicklow – Carnew).

Tom is a member of the Association of Drama Adjudicators.


Regina Bushell Director


Meet the team that work extremely hard behind the scenes to make this a success.