Laurel and Hardy society going strong after 20 years

by Gary Ibbotson
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The Irish Laurel and Hardy Society celebrates it’s 20th birthday this month.

Liam Muldowney, the chairperson, or ‘Grand Sheik’ of the group is from Ballinteer and is an avid fan of the comedy duo.

“I am a serious collector of memorabilia and have collected original scripts, autographs and reel film,” he says.

According to Muldowney, he owns the largest collection of books on Laurel and Hardy in Ireland even wrote one of his own, Near Dublin: The Story of Laurel and Hardy in Ireland.

Founded 20 years ago when Muldowney wanted to join the ‘Sons of the Desert,’ (the fan society that Stan Laurel set up in 1965), the Irish society is called the Jitterbugs Tent, named after the 1943 film, Jitterbugs.

“We in Ireland have about 60 members and meet every 3 months in the Village Inn in Crumlin where we take a Saturday afternoon and show a couple of films on the big screen,” he says.

“We have a raffle, colouring competitions for the kids, quizzes based on the film we just showed and then we have our loyal toasts where we toast, Stan, Ollie and a few of their co-stars.

“Now that we in Ireland are 20 years old, we will celebrate by having a birthday film show in the Village Inn on May 18th at 3pm.

“We will have three Grand Sheiks from the UK and USA who are coming over to help us celebrate.”

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