Hundreds of fans of hit comedy show The Young Offenders gathered in Cork’s English market on Saturday night to watch the season finale, five days ahead of the official broadcast date on RTÉ.

Ireland’s oldest indoor food market, which features prominently on the show, also hosted stars of the series, Alex Murphy, Hilary Rose and PJ Gallagher, along with the show’s cast and crew, The Lord Mayor of Cork City Tony Fitzgerald and special guests.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Rose, who plays Mairead MacSweeney on the show said, "It's kind of mind-blowing really. When you make something that you're really proud of, it's wonderfully to see everyone else really appreciate it."

Fans watch the season finale 

Her co-star Murphy, who plays Conor MacSweeney said, "The fact that it's going down so well in the UK and for us it's still this small little Cork film that for other people has obviously grown but it's stayed the same for us so it's hard to wrap your head around how successful it is."  

The series, which follows the exploits of Cork tearaways Conor and Jock (Chris Walley), is based on the hit movie of the same name and is also screened on digital only channel BBC Three in the UK. A second series has already been commissioned.  

Left to right: Demi Isaac Oviaweat, Peter Foott and Jennifer Barry at The English Market 

Fans of the show watched the last episode of the series on two large screens in The English Market, which opened especially for the occasion with traders providing refreshments and food.

Speaking at the event, Lord Mayor of Cork City Tony Fitzgerald spoke about how pleased he was that Cork played such a big role in the movie and the series.

"I would like to thank the show’s creators for this entertaining series and pay tribute to all the actors for taking part. In particular the lifewide experience in acting for our youth was exemplary. Cork City and County is an ideal place to showcase talent both on national and international level, which is fantastic."

Creator of The Young Offenders, Peter Foott thanked The English Market for allowing them to take over and film scenes for the show. 

"We spent so long filming in The English Market it has been such an integral part of The Young Offenders, so it seems perfect to have the premiere of the last episode of series one here.

"The team in the Market have been so accommodating and even starred in some of the episodes, so we’re delighted to show the final episode in Cork and celebrate with the people of Cork, I hope you all like how the series ends and we can't wait to get started on series two".

A Cork welcome for The Young Offenders 

Tickets for the event sold out in minutes with all proceeds going to the Cork-based national charity Straight Ahead, which carries out "just in time" operations on children with Orthopedic needs that are not being met by the HSE.

The Young Offenders is broadcast on RTÉ2 on Thursdays at 9.30pm, on the RTÉ Player, and on BBC One on Fridays straight after The Graham Norton Show.