Calls for GAA to reverse Scór decision

August 26, 2013

A controversial decision by the GAA Ard Comhairle to remove the Novelty Act and Question Time from the Scór programme has prompted an angry reaction from many closely associated with this element of the Association.

It emerged that the decision to abolish the novelty act discipline was reached at a recent meeting of the Central Council to discuss changes to the Scór competition rules and that clubs were not consulted prior to the meeting.

Scór was established in 1969 to help promote traditional Irish past-times and culture and those taking part compete for their club and county in eight separate disciplines including set dancing, ballad singing and music.

TheNnovelty Act section gave participants an opportunity to display their acting talent on stage and is intended primarily as light-hearted humour.  However, it has been suggested that some such productions have strayed away from the traditional Irish element and are not reflective of the values of the GAA.

Scór enthusiasts, angry and disappointed at the handling of the matter, have taken to social media sites to garner support in calling for the novelty act to be retained.  One such Facebook page ‘Petition to save Novelty Act in Scór’ originated from young members of St. Patrick’s GFC in Cullyhanna.  The club has been to the forefront of Scór participation in recent years and has enjoyed success in both junior and senior Scór.  The page has already attracted more than 2,000 ‘likes’ with some contributors calling on clubs to boycott the Scór until the decision is reversed.

Members of the Scór committee in St. Patrick’s, Bernardine and Margaret Donnelly, say the decision has ‘devastated’ children within the club.

Speaking to The Examiner, they said: “During the week we discovered that a decision to remove the Novelty Act and Question Time from Scór had been taken by Ard Comhairle.

Over the past eight years St Patrick’s, Cullyhanna has been very successful at Senior and Junior level and in fact last year the Novelty Act won Club, County and Provincial titles and went on to represent Ulster at the All-Ireland Scór na nóg final in Derry.

“The Novelty Act has provided a platform for those whose talents do not lie in the field of sport, song, music and dance.  It provides a social outlet in the winter months and has helped develop confidences and great friendships within various participating clubs.”

Encouraging the wider GAA community to get behind those seeking to have the decision reversed, they added: “Upon learning the decision the children were devastated and they felt they needed to become proactive, so they met to decide what they could do.  They decided to start a Facebook page to protest against this decision and see if they could get the Novelty Act and Question Time reinstated.  Within 24 hours the support shown through the social network has been phenomenal, with over 2,000 likes being registered from individuals and club from the four provinces.