Friday, May 14, 2021

‘I reckon that we could have about 600 people playing on a Saturday night’ – John O’Donohoe

By Elizabeth Lee

BALLON drive-in bingo is back with a bang, with games taking place every Saturday afternoon, while there’s also a chance to play online, too.

The playing fields of Burrin Celtic soccer club are being repurposed into a giant outdoor bingo hall, with veteran bingo caller Breeda McDonald keeping everyone on their toes.

The bingo is open-air and is compliant with covid-19 restrictions, with extra toilet facilities on-site and hand sanitisation areas.

“It’s fantastic to be getting back to our open-air bingo with the help of the Burrin Celtic committee and our volunteers,” said John O’Donohoe, one of the main organisers of the bingo sessions. “Everyone stays in their car during the bingo and all you have to do to ‘check’ is beep your horn and we’ll verify it from there. We have a very straightforward set-up, with plenty of volunteers on hand to ensure the event runs smoothly. Our bingo patrons are reminded to remain in their cars throughout the event, except when they use the toilet facilities.”

The gates of Burrin Celtic will open from 2.30pm, with the game kicking off at 4pm. There’s a pot of €3,720 of prize money to be won and also an increasing jackpot of €2,850 to be scooped every evening.

For those who can’t make it to the outdoor gig, Ballon bingo is also online.

John, being the youngest member of the bingo committee, used his youthful knowledge of all things techy to get the game established during the dark days of lockdown. Up to 600 people across Co Carlow, Ireland and even the world now tune in to play bingo with John and Breeda on Saturday nights.

“The numbers are limitless, really, but I reckon that we could have about 600 people playing on a Saturday night. They come from New York, Glasgow, Berlin, because families like to play it together. It brought people together in a strange way. It’s brilliant to have such a reach and to entertain people throughout the country,” said a delighted John.

Online bingo is at 8pm on Saturday evenings. Books are available to buy online throughout the week on the Clubforce website or on the Ballon Community Bingo Facebook page. There is a total of €4,530 in prize money for the online bingo, with two guaranteed full houses of €1,000.

All funds raised from Ballon community bingo have been used to repay loans taken out for the redevelopment of Ballon Community and Sports Centre in recent years and will continue to be used to fund this and other similar community needs in the future.

Go the the Ballon bingo Facebook page for further information on both games.

Comments are closed.

Contact Newsdesk: +353 59 9170100

More News