Madness give thumbs up for Down Syndrome Cork project


Legendary 1980s band, Madness, have given the thumbs up to a new music video which uses one of their biggest hits to showcase an inspiring Down Syndrome project in Ireland.

The iconic ska band said they are delighted to see how their massive 1982 hit, Our House, has been adapted by ska and punk band, Pontious Pilate and The Naildrivers, to shine a light on the unique Down Syndrome Cork (DSC) Field of Dreams project and what they’ve planned next.

DSC’s Ray O’Callaghan, a driving force behind the project, said the music video has attracted huge interest from around the world and is set to go viral.

“We will continue to dream and tell our story as we believe it can be a template for other Down Syndrome organisations or branches,” he said.

“We would like one million views to signify how much we need to raise for the next phase.

“And who knows – we might even make it to the Christmas No 1.”

Part-inspired by the 1989 fantasy film of the same name, starring Kevin Costner, DSC’s Field of Dreams horticultural farm project was established in 2017 on a five-acre site off Clash Road in Curraheen to teach clients how to grow their own fruit and veg, and provide a range of education, training, and work opportunities in a “safe, secure and inspirational environment”.

“The ‘Field’ has managed to get eight jobs for our eight graduates from the first group of adults who graduated,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

“We now have 24 on-site for the next two-year courses. The Field was built to try and give a future for all our kids with Down Syndrome, and their parents.”

Down Syndrome Centre Cork's Field of Dreams in Curraheen.
Down Syndrome Centre Cork’s Field of Dreams in Curraheen.

Now DSC wants to amalgamate services from its Blackpool facility on the Curraheen campus.

“This would offer us the opportunity to enrich our kids, adults and parents lives in one place,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

DSC approached Pontious Pilate and The Naildrivers to help and Ian Walsh, a founding member, drummer and manager of the band, said they were delighted to get involved.

“We thought it’s brilliant what they are doing and what they are striving to do,” he said.

They took the Our House melody and wrote original lyrics to showcase the Field of Dreams vision.

Fabian Boras shot the video with help from Field of Dreams clients and featuring a special appearance by Young Offenders star, Shane Casey, who plays Billy Murphy.

Mr Walsh said they are particularly delighted that Madness, who helped inspire them as they embarked on their music career almost 20-years ago, have endorsed the video.

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