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Former member of Scottish parliament brings her comedy show to the Gweebarra

Rosie Kane, in 2004 when she was an MSP, during a protest outside the Faslane submarine base.

Rosie Kane, in 2004 when she was an MSP, during a protest outside the Faslane submarine base.

BY SEÁN P. FEENY
A FORMER member of Scottish Parliament who swapped her political life for comedy is bringing her one-woman show to Donegal next week. An Evening With Rosie Kane is making its Irish debut on Saturday, August 17, at The Gweebarra Bar in Lettermacaward at 9pm.

Rosie Kane (nee McGarvey) has always been known to speak her mind having spent a four years in Scottish Parliament as a Socialist MSP serving Holyrood.
Rosie, who grew up close to Sheridan in the Pollok area of Glasgow and has strong family connections to Ireland, was one of the most ‘colourful’ characters to have entered the Scottish Parliament’s chambers.

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But after protests, imprisonment and mental breakdown, as well as the turmoil of the Tommy Sheridan defamation trial, her time as an MSP ended in 2007.
Rosie said: “My late Father was from Clones and we still have many family and friends there. My younger brother Brian met his wife Marice in Glasgow and lucky for us she is from Donegal.

“This means I’ve had plenty reasons to come to Donegal over the years and to strengthen my links with Ireland as they and their three children have gone home to Lettermacaward.

“I’ve had some amazing times there and I am always made very welcome by my extended family and friends. I was the only girl in our family and Brian has a lot of sisters-in-law who have become as close as sisters so I love being in Donegal.

“On a recent visit for my niece’s confirmation Brian suggested I bring the show there as we have much in common with Donegal in Glasgow, particularly our sense of humour and love of music. Brian and I took a trip into The Gweebarra and within about two minutes we had decided on a gig and a date,” said Rosie.

Rosie has only been in the comedy business for little over a year having begun her career telling her hilarious, all true stories to raise funds for a women’s drama group set up to support women who are suffering from depression.

“I was one of those women to benefit from this group so when they asked me to put on a show to raise funds I didn’t think twice about it.
“We had a full house, a mixture of people coming out of curiosity to see that ‘angry woman’ from the parliament and people supporting the event, but I think most people so far have been pleasantly surprised about the show.”

Rosie said her show covers her whole life from the early days living in a Glasgow working class housing scheme to getting into politics, protesting all the way into a seat in parliament.

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“They are all true stories covering everything from my election to being arrested and I was arrested quite a lot of times and they are funny stories,” she laughed.

Rosie’s show also features a lot of music, both original and covers, which all relate to the stories she tells and she is accompanied by her brother ‘Big Tam’ McGarvey.

“Big Tam is my oldest brother and it is great to have him in the show with me. He plays the mandolin and guitar and we perform a lot of songs about civil rights and freedom. It’s a very lively show and we hope to get people on their feet and singing along.”

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