The Aghagallon Léiriú group who will represent Antrim at the All Ireland Scór na nÓg Finals
The community of Aghagallon came together on Tuesday 13th February for a send-off evening to wish their Léiriú group all the best in their All Ireland Scór na nÓg Final this weekend in Sligo. The hall in St Mary’s PS was packed to capacity as people from the community, friends, families and invited guests joined to celebrate with the eight young people who have reached a National Final.
The evening began with a welcome from Una McStravick, Cultural Officer in Aghagallon. Úna thanked everyone for coming and said that Aghagallon wasn’t just a club, that it was “a community full of great people and great children”. She then welcomed Caitriona McAtarsney who acted as Bean an Tí for the evening. Caitriona welcomed invited guests Paula Magee from Coiste Scór Náisiúnta and also two representatives from the current All Ireland winning ballad group from Clonduff. She also thanked Barney Herron, County Children’s Officer for attending and showing his support and wished his club Lámh Dhearg all the best in the All Ireland quiz in Sligo.
The All Ireland Finalists then performed “The Leprachaun’s Gold” and what a treat it was! The enthusiasm was evident and so was the love that these children have for Scór and their club and County. Following the performance, Caroline Carvill, All Ireland Champion from Clonduff GAC in County Down was invited to offer a few words of encouragement to the Léiriú group and invited the children to come and say a few words. Zara, Meabh, Daniel, Oisin, Úna, Éadaoin, Ciara and Ronan thanked everyone for their support and said that it was “a dream come true and only 4 sleeps until the All Ireland.” They then presented their 2 mentors, Caitriona and Una with a thank you gift.
Caitriona explained that they weren’t only proud of the Léiriú group for reaching the All Ireland but that they were also extremely proud of the Ceili Dancers who competed in their third successive Ulster Final this year. She said that they had shown amazing strength of character and were the number one supporters heading to Sligo. The dancers then gave a beautiful performance of The Cross Reel.
Following this came the best and most memorable part of the evening. The crowd was shown a DVD which included messages from the children’s families, friends, teachers, classes and even some celebrities like Daniel O Donnell, Hugo Duncan, Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan and Paul Clarke sent good luck messages. This was a very emotional video and showed just how strong the spirit of Scór is in Aghagallon.
It was then time for thank yous and presentations. The Léiriu group were first and they received a gift bag with new club gear for their trip to Sligo from club Chairman, Eamonn Shanks and also a good luck card and a donation from the club towards their stay in Sligo. Presentations were then made to the invited guests and to anyone who has helped the group throughout their Scór journey. Una thanked the sponsors, the club committee, Niambh and Martin McCavigan, Orla Hamill, Antrim County Board and Aine McGuinness and Mary McCavigan for their baking and helping with the tea.
It was a fantastic evening and one that the community will never forget.