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Centenary 1913-2013

Clontibret O’Neills celebrated their centenary year in 2013 and lined up a number of events to celebrate this unique occasion. The first of these was the very successful ‘So you think you can dance’ event held in the Hillgrove on March 22nd. We’ll keep you in the know for the next celebratory event!

Now we know they can dance
What a night, what a show. From the delicate opening steps of the Clontibret Camogie Troupe to the heart warming, feet stomping Riverdance finale led by Rodney and John this was a night to remember. Those who were privileged to be there will never forget it and those who weren’t will always regret it. That a group of local amateurs could put together such a slick, professional and talented performance in just six weeks is a massive tribute to all involved. Choreographer Fiona Keenan O’Brien is to be congratulated on her innovative production and attention to detail while stage manager Karen Hughes kept the whole show running like clockwork. In addition a veritable army of willing helpers kept things moving both backstage and front of house while Adrian Logan was as ever the consummate MC.

The dancers who danced their wee socks off!

The dancers who danced their wee socks off!

In the Competing Dancers section, Thomas Greenan and Eleanor McQuaid unanimously took the prizes with their intimate contemporary interpretation of ‘Our Version of Events’ but never was the old adage more apt, ‘they were all winners’. From the opening strains of New York New York where Phyllis Brennan, Dean O’Neill and Gerry McMahon set the competitive bar at the highest level the audience was treated to a spectacle of fun, song, humour and of course quality dance moves. Michael Duffy and Patricia Ward dazzled us with their ‘Ups and Downs’ waltz while Kevin Gormley, Gerry Reilly, Aiden Leonard, Eithna McQuaid, Amanda McArdle Keenan and Laura Hughes were ‘All Mixed Up’ in a spectacular jazz number. Bernie O’Neill and Liam Swift then brought us into the ‘Roaring Charlies’ with a stunning interpretation of the Charleston. Aileen Mone and Liam Ward took the audience into country mode with a lively ‘Jiving Jitters’, while Susan Savage and Gerry Gorman’s ‘Contemporary Rough Diamonds’ added a flavour of Rihanna to the night, while the ‘Demented’ Hip-Hop arrangement from Marie Greenan, John Paul Mone, Fergal McGuigan and Tara McElvaney brought the house down for the interval.

So you think you can dance ticket

So you think you can dance ticket

There was more to come after the interval as the Clontibret Ceili dancers of Ann Mohan, Martin Mohan, Marie Hughes, Breda Hughes, Peadar Greenan and Dympna Kerr showed us their well-trained steps. This was followed by the most hilarious part of the night where first we were treated to the spectacle of local versions of the Spice Girls, Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, Shakira, Britney Spears Christina Aguilera, the Cheeky Girls and Whitney Houston, followed by Stavros (Big John) Flatley and his son Rodney, who soon literally had the place in stitches and brought about a spontaneous standing ovation. This led in to the grand finale with all dancers on stage to finish what was a wonderful night.

The Clontibret Camogie Troupe included Chloe McGuigan, Mary Duffy, Melinda McCague, Emily Madden, Rioghnach Duffy, Niamh Hughes, Hannah McSkeane and Jennifer Duffy, while Bernie Boyle and John Greene joined the twenty-four competitors for the impressive opening Group Dance which gave of the audience a flavour of what was in store for them as the night unfolded.

The Clontibret Camogie Troupe

The Clontibret Camogie Troupe

The judging panel of Fr. Paddy McGinn, Geraldine Clarke and Thomas McSkane joined in the atmosphere of the night with some telling and insightful contributions wrapped up in witty remarks. It is notable that the judges’ decision for the best group dance coincided with the audience’s choice of Eleanor and Thomas.

In the raffle Gary McQuaid bagged two All Ireland Football tickets, Collette Connolly, Aghabog got the Hurling tickets, Francie Evans won a voucher for the Kilmore Hotel while vouchers for Olivia Keenan Beauty were won by Caramel McAdam and Sean McSkeane. The raffle in the juvenile section was won by Sinead Mohan.

Many many thanks is due to all who contributed in so many different ways to making this the remarkable occasion that it was. The organising committee, those who produced the very impressive programme spearheaded by Stephen McGuigan and Declan Savage, ticket sellers, ticket collectors, those who collected sponsorship and of course the sponsors themselves for their generosity. Thanks to the more than 1,000 patrons who took the trouble to turn out on the night and participate in such a meaningful way which helped create the atmosphere for such memorable night. Thanks also to those who helped with hair, make-up and costumes, to the footballers who acted as ushers and envelope collectors, and to the Hillgrove for the use of their fine facility.

Have a look at some of the photos for this event here.