Wicklow GAA will have three acts in this weekend’s Leinster Scór Sinsir Final in St Brigid’s Hall, Carnew after last Saturday’s Leinster Semi-Finals in Marian Hall, Birr, County Offaly.
Wicklow were well represented with five clubs participating across seven categories. Indeed, Wicklow was the only county to have participants in all seven categories.
Through to the Final are Eiméid Charn an Bhua in rince foirne and nuachleas while Éire Óg Na Clocha Liatha qualified in rince seit. Competitors from Coolkenno, Kiltegan and Blessington GAA didn’t meet with the same success but all performed admirably under the bright Birr lights.
Carnew Emmets were first on stage for Wicklow in the rince foirne category with Toni Doran, Máire Doran, Charlotte Myers, Laura Byrne, Lauren Byrne, Helen Hughes, Kayleigh Kinsella and Mollie Mulroe dancing very well to ensure their progress to a home final on Sunday next.
The second half of the show begun with the Nuachleas category, and after Wexford’s St Patrick’s Ballyoughter impressed it was Eiméid Charn an Bhua’s turn to perform and perform they did. Stepping into the most unfillable of shoes in those of James ‘the Bear’ Doran was Tom Darcy and he delivered a performance of which ‘the Bear’ would have been proud, delivering his lines with impeccable comedic timing. Their sketch was entitled ‘Carnew’s Olympic Dream’ and also featured Fergus Kinsella, Emma Culkin, Aoife Doran, John O’Hara, Brian Doran and John Joe Myers. They held the audience very much in thrall throughout (which was saying something, given that we were edging ever closer to the 8pm kick-off of the Ireland v New Zealand World Cup Quarter Final!). The performance of ‘Carnew’s Olympic Dream’ will be one of the highlights of next week’s finals. It’ll be worth the admission price alone.
Éire Óg Na Clocha Liath’s set dancing group of Éamonn Mac Seáin, Sarah Keegan, Éamonn Ó Lideadha and Máire Nic Giolla Phádraig were the final act on stage of the evening and danced like they were Scór veterans rather than debutants at this level. They will no doubt enjoy their Leinster Final experience next week when they’ll be dancing to live music.
As mentioned above, some Wicklow participants’ Scór journey came to an end on Saturday. Kiltegan’s Katie Phealan was first up in the Amhránaíocht Aonair category and once again sang ‘Come my Little Son’. Katie sang beautifully and was a common pick among the audience for a top two finish. Unfortunately, she just missed out on a finals place with Longford’s Erin Ross and Offaly’s Ciarán Mac Raghnaill advancing in the category. Katie can be very happy with her 2023 Scór journey however, after winning her first county title 2 weeks’ ago.
Making his first appearance on the Leinster stage was Blessington’s Eoin Tyrrell who recited ‘The Papisher and the Prod’, just as he did at the county final. Eoin’s tale of a mixed marriage of a Protestant and a Catholic in Belfast really packs a punch and he delivered it well. Just as was the case with Amhránaíocht Aonair, however, it was the Longford and Offaly participants who advanced.
Coolkenno were another club making their debut at Leinster senior level with Amy Doyle, Margaret Byrne and Bronagh Ward competing as a ballad group. They sang ‘Black Velvet Band’ and ‘Isle of Hope’, their three voices so synchronised they sounded like one! It was Cill Eo (Longford) and Baile an Maor (Offaly) who continued the midlands domination of this semi-final, topping the moltóir score card.
Eiméid Charn an Bhua also participated in the ceol uirlise category and would no doubt have harboured hopes of a home final. Their foireann of Toni Doran, Sophie Doran and Brendan Grant played fantastically but were pipped by Wexford’s Bannow-Ballymitty and St Brigid’s Camogie Club, Kilkenny on the night.
All roads now lead to Carnew next Sunday as the talent of Leinster converges on St Brigid’s Hall for the Leinster Scór Sinsir Final. It all begins at 3pm. Go n-éirí go geal le gach iomaitheoir Chill Mhantáin! Best of luck to all of Wicklow’s participants!