Local Scór na nÓg talent is Derry bound

February 18, 2013

Three local acts will be chasing All-Ireland glory next Saturday 23rd February in the final of the 2012/2013 All-Ireland Scór na nÓg in Derry City.

The proud ambassadors of south Armagh set to showcase their talents at the final of the prestigious competition, which celebrates Ireland’s traditional pastimes and culture, are: the Cullyhanna Novelty Act, Mullaghbawn Solo Singer Emily Shields and the Whitecross Ceilidh Dancers.

The eight committed young gaels who make up the Whitecross Ceili Dancers team are representing Armagh and Ulster, and have already beaten off stiff competition to win the 2013 Armagh and Ulster Scor Na nOg titles.  Ciara Murphy, Ciara Bannon, Ciara Savage, Dearbhla O’Hanlon, Aveen McGuinness, Amy Bannon and Aoife Malone were narrowly pipped at the post for the All-Ireland crown last year so are hoping to go all the way to win the All-Ireland title next Saturday.

“There has been a long tradition of ceilidh dancing in Whitecross and we are absolutely delighted with the success our dancers have had to date. They are excellent ambassadors for our club,” comments newly elected Chairman of Whitecross GFC, Phelim McGuinness.

“The girls have dedicated an unbelievable amount of time and effort to reach this stage but we also have to recognise the commitment of their families who have supported them throughout and the excellent teaching provided by Eamonn O’Malley from the Rooney O’Malley School of Dance who has had a long association with Whitecross GFC.”

The team were given a great send off in their quest for glory, with a hugely successful night of “Music, Dance and Craic” held last Saturday at St Killian’s Hall, and they will be further buoyed by a band of supporters on the day.

Mullaghbawn finalist, Emily Shields has been steadily building up her profile as a major talent in Mullaghbawn ever since she first recorded “Christmas in Ireland” for the ‘What’s the Scor?’ CD in 2007 to support the local GAA.  Her recording of Pie Jesu for St Paul’s charitable fund in 2011 was greeted with much acclaim on Youtube with over 6,000 hits and last year Emily reached the final of Feis and Blood with her version of ‘Nella Fantasia’.

However 2012-2013 has already proved to be the year that Emily has finally been recognised for her talents in Scor with County and Provincial titles under her belt and a recording of Scor Encore still to be aired on TG4 on April 14th at 8pm.

Talented Emily approaches the final with the full support of Cu Chulainn CLG behind her, and around 35 supporters will make the journey to Derry next Saturday to cheer on their club ambassador in her quest for the All-Ireland title.

All-Ireland glory also beckons for the Cullyhanna Novelty Act who have enjoyed great success so far this year, claiming the Ulster Final for the first time in the club’s history. Having also won the County title four times, the All-Ireland accolade would be the jewel in the crown of this club’s success.

The Novelty Act’s eight strong cast consists of Oran Murray, Colm Donnelly, Niamh Brennan, Dermot Savage, Mary Donnelly, Sinead Brennan, Caoimhe McParland and Diarmuid Brecknell. They have delighted audiences with their original play which centres around the cutting down of a fairy tree.

Marie Hoey, Cullyhanna Committee member, heralds the young act’s achievement as “absolutely magnificent. We couldn’t be more proud of all those involved.”

Marie also pays tribute to the hard work of her fellow committee members; Margaret Donnelly, who wrote and produced the play, Bernie Donnelly, who also helped produce the play and Karen Murray.

“The committee has been a great source of help and support over the years,” says Marie, “and we must acknowledge the inspirational input we’ve received from Peter Murphy, the Irish Cultural officer for Armagh.”

“There’s a great feeling about this year and a huge amount of followers will travel to Derry on Saturday to show their support for this fantastic group of young people.”

The Examiner would like to wish all three local competitors the very best of luck in next Saturday’s All-Ireland Scor Na nOg final and congratulate all for their success in promoting Irish tradition and culture in south Armagh.