“Journalist and writer Rory Egan is, without doubt,
the funniest After-Dinner speaker I have ever heard. I was
lucky enough to be asked to a fund-raising evening on behalf
of Welcome Home, the charity that raises money for Fr. Peter
McVerry a priest that has devoted his life to homeless kids
My host told me to sit back and listen as, apparently,
Rory has been asked back every year. He took over the role
of MC, introducing Fr. Peter whose story about the lack
of support for Ireland's young and homeless teenagers was
both shocking and heart rending. Egan dealt with the tone
of the evening delicately, with both humor and compassion
in equal measure.
The evening really took off after coffee when he walked
up to the podium clutching a ream of notes under his arm.
I realised that this is part of his routine, as he obviously
had done his homework on the guest list. He seemed to target
various celebrities in his audience, giving the impression
of praising someone before turning it on it's head in such
a subtle way that the person in question didn't know whether
to laugh or cry. This evening's first target was the CEO
of Anglo Irish Bank who seemed to relish the roasting.
In these days of Stand-Up Comedians and Alternative Comedy,
there is something magical about listening to someone who
measures every word carefully, painting a hilarious image
on the most normal of topics. His delivery is so deadpan
that the audience literally went quiet between each burst
of laughter, in case they missed the next line.
He told us tales of his childhood and bemoaned the loss
of his Grandfather who died suddenly on the occasion of
his 92nd birthday adding, almost as an afterthought, that
his family wasn't even half way through giving him the bumps
at the time!
He finished off with words and phrases peculiar to Dublin
that had the whole audience in tears. I don't think I have
ever seen a speaker get a standing ovation but that's exactly
what happened. If only we had someone like him in New York.”
Meredith Brosnan, Author and
Playwright. Taken from his article Dublin Revisited in The
Amongst is many after dinner speaking engagements Rory
is a regular on the rugby after dinner speaking circuit
ands in 2002 he was guest speaker at the notorious Crowebars
Lunch. He also hosted An Evening with Sir Alex Ferguson
and is a favourite of the Manchester United Manager. He
has entertained at Sir Anthony O'Reilly's Ireland Fund Dinner
in The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.
He writes for the Sunday Independent and the Star on Sunday.
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