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What started as a hobby is now his full-time career: here's Rory's story

You probably recognise his face but do you know how it all started?

He started the Facebook page in January 2014,
He started the Facebook page in January 2014,
Image: Rory's Stories Facebook page

MOST GAA FANS around the country will have come across “Rory’s Stories” at some stage while scrolling down their Facebook newsfeeds.

From comedy sketches to more serious pieces about mental health, Rory O’Connor has been producing regular content on social media over the past three years.

O’Connor always wanted to get into acting and comedy but felt it was hard to break the scene. He started his own blog in November 2013 and used his personal Facebook page to get his name out there.

“I did a couple of GAA videos and they took off. I decided to start concentrating on GAA for a while because no one had really done it before” O’Connor told The42.

“I didn’t expect it to take off as quickly but the power of social media is incredible.

“I had a really good gut feeling about it when I started. It was about taking the first step, I knew I was onto something good but I didn’t think it would happen that quick, it really blew up.”

The 29-year-old, who previously worked for CPL Recruitment and in a sales job, is now pursuing “Rory’s Stories” as his full-time career.

“Working 9-5 and trying to fit in writing and filming sketches in between was difficult. Since I’ve started full-time it’s going from strength to strength and I have a great platform built.

“Having the backing of my fiancée Emma is important. It wasn’t an easy decision, especially with a three-year-old child. Bills have to be paid.”

As well as scripting sketches and making videos, O’Connor also performs live shows, including GAA fundraisers and MC’s functions.

With the Facebook page currently at nearly 215,000 likes, O’Connor says he wouldn’t be where he is now without Paddy Murphy. Murphy often appears in the sketches and does a lot of work behind the scene, helping out and making the videos.

“It’s hard to get used to, especially over the past six months” the Meath man says when asked if he’s recognised in public now. “I suppose though I’m 6ft 4 and bald, I’d stick out anywhere!”

Source: RTÉ Republic of Comedy/YouTube

O’Connor has worked with Republic of Telly over the past few months, with his sketches receiving huge traction and bringing him further success.

“Facebook’s great and all, but I started with a vision to be on RTÉ. My main goal is to have my own show on RTÉ.

“I’m not being arrogant but that’s what I’d love to do. I have a creative mind, but I can’t do it all on my own.”

Although the Ashbourne native has concentrated mainly on comedy sketches in the past, he has also made several videos with a more serious angle. Over the weekend, he shared a piece about the unnoticed commitment of ladies footballers featuring Meath’s Michelle Peel, and since then it has been viewed over 566,000 times.

“Comedy is what I enjoy doing, but I like the serious aspect too. Sometimes the time is right and I could meet someone with an incredible story out of the blue.

“I have the power on social media then to share that story.

“I’m very passionate about mental heath in general, and one thing that’s stuck me is that a lot of young people young men especially have come up to me and thanked me for my videos on mental health awareness – that means a lot.”
  • Rory O’Connor will feature at Ladbrokes’ ‘Championship Lowdown’ tomorrow evening at Opium on Dublin’s Wexford Street. He’ll be followed by a panel discussion featuring the likes of Nicky English, Ciaran Whelan and others. Tickets are free via eventbrite.

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