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Dublin: 16°C Tuesday 3 August 2021

School to hold meeting after clowns enter school grounds and 'terrified' students

The Nightmare Realm director explained to us what happened that lead to three scary clowns roaming around a school’s private grounds.

Charlie Chopper, the ringleader of The Nightmare Realm performance group.
Charlie Chopper, the ringleader of The Nightmare Realm performance group.
Image: Miki Barlok via The Nightmare Realm.

A MEETING BETWEEN parents and teachers at Newpark Comprehensive will be held tonight to discuss an incident where actors dressed as frightening clowns appeared in the grounds of the Blackrock secondary school.

Last Thursday at around 2pm actors from The Nightmare Realm in Cork say they wandered into the school’s private grounds by accident. When they realised where they were, they left the premises.

When the story first appeared on the Independent.ie, it attracted the views of parents, which said that some children had been traumatised by the experience of seeing the three terrifying creatures roaming around their school grounds.

One parent told TheJournal.ie that her 13-year-old daughter was at a PE class when the clowns holding a fake hammer and a chainsaw, entered the playground at the back of the school and began chasing the students.

“The screams were unreal – my daughter thought she was under attack. The two teachers had to chase them off the grounds while the students ran into the building.”

She said that it was quite clear that the grounds were belonging to a school.

There’s no way I would wander into the back of school grounds in Cork.

The school declined to comment, but said that the gardaí had been notified and arrived on the scene. The gardaí have said that no complaints have been made about the incident.

Karl O’Connor, the director of The Nightmare Realm, told TheJournal.ie that the company were in the middle of filming a promo video for Halloween when the event happened.

He said that, although they do create characters that play to people’s fears, that the whole incident had been taken out of context and there was a bit of “mass hysteria” about the whole affair.

After the guys left the grounds, they went to a newsagents and the kids from the school who were on their lunch break asked could they get pictures and videos taken with them.
Our main character, Charlie Chop, people really get a kick out of him. He’s kind of tongue-in-cheek, he doesn’t go around chasing after people.

He said that the incident had been hyped up because of a lack of context, and a mix-up between suspicious clown activity in the UK and US and clowns here, saying “they’re nothing to do with us”.

We’ve been based in Cork for ten years, and down there, characters like Charlie are seen as celebrities –  no one bats an eyelid.

“This is our first year in Dublin.”

On Saturday, British police warned the public of people in clown outfits acting suspiciously and sometimes wielding knives as they follow people.

Earlier in the year in August, police in South Carolina increased patrols after several children reported someone dressed as a clown was trying to lure children into the woods.

Read: British police issue warning about people in clown outfits acting suspiciously

Read: It’s official: Ireland is getting a sugar tax (but not for a few years)

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