Donegal’s most famous magician, Owney Taadaa, is planning his most audacious stunt to date, to make Trinity College magically disappear for the duration of Lent 2013. Taadaa, a native of Letterkenny, hopes the stunt will raise his profile beyond Donegal. “With this stunt, I hope to raise my profile beyond Donegal,” revealed Oweny, “as if by magic,” he added.
Taadaa is held in high regard in magic circles within the county, where he has been performing his illusions for five years. He has amazed locals with such amazing feats as sawing a goat in half and boiling an egg in his mouth. His most famous tricks, however, are Lent-themed, including putting hot ash on his face, and this year’s physics-defying contortion act in which he squeezed himself into a Trócaire box.
The Trócaire box trick nearly ended in disaster only for some quick thinking from his mother Nelly The Van, “They came around to collect the money-box and sure didn’t my husband give them the wrang wan, I went to let poor Owney out of his box and sure there was nothing in it only a handful of change and some Dunnes vouchers.” Nelly jumped in her van and went down to the collection centre just in time, “Our Oweny nearly ended up in Africa,” she explained. “The Trócaire people were a wee bit disappointed because by the weight of the box they thought they had hit the mother lode,” said a relieved Nelly.
Nelly told us of her son’s interest in magic since an early age. “When he was five he used to be doing away at wee tricks, but we had no cards back then only dominoes, ‘is this your domino?’ he used to say, it never was, but sure we never let on to the poor wee cretúr.”