**** Scor Na Nog Well the curtain came down Sunday evening at the Inaugural New York Scor Na Nog show - and what a tremendous event it turned out to be! "The origin of Scor Na Nog is a division of The Gaelic Athletic Association and was founded in 1969 in Ireland by the Association and was charged with the promotion of Irish cultural activities that would actively support The Irish language, Irish song, music ,dance, recitation, drama and other aspects of Irish culture. It would foster an awareness and love of the national ideals in promoting a community spirit in all GAA clubs throughout the world." Certainly this and much more was accomplished Sunday evening in the halls of St Barnabas in the Bronx and only time will measure its historic value. The Rockland GAA are extremely proud of its participation and in particular of its community of families and children who participated and supported this successful event. Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters all beamed with Irish American pride as they watched their loved ones participate in a true community experience. The eyes of New York and indeed the world via the medium of social network watched these youngsters give it all, in their unique and talented performances. The performances were displayed with the composure of Broadway performers, with exceptional talent and a love and belief in themselves and what they were accomplishing, but without the understanding that they have created history in advent of the first Scor Na Nog event to be held in the United States of America. The performances came as no accident with months of preparation. In houses throughout Rockland County, nights of practice were quietly and diligently carried out. Moms and Dads encouraged their children as they carried out their rehearsals. Back room teams taught children new dances, songs, recitations, music and novelty acts. In all this time ,these children and parents didn’t have a grasp of the magnitude of what they were about to accomplish - the promotion of community spirit in furthering all things Irish. Teams of musicians , dancers, storytellers, vocal artists and soon-to-be actors were assembled. Erin Loughran assembled squads of fabulous musicians and Mickey Coleman fine-tuned the vocals of singers, while Patricia Ross tended to the dancers and still had time to coach recitation. Frank Rowley assembled casting calls for young actors and actresses and Marcella Riggs set about unearthing some of the smartest young talent of boys and girls to participate in Scor Na Nog question time and all with the minimum of fuss. A lot of afternoons ,evenings and nights were spent fine tuning this young talent and arranging sets for novelty acts. Erin Loughran listening to every cord on the banjo, guitar, fiddle, accordion and bodhran; Mickey Coleman hanging on every note; Patricia Ross watching every step of the soft shoe; and Frank Rowley comparing his cast to the production of “Ben Hur" without the budget; all while Bernie Doran and Jackie Rowley took all the Marietta biscuits. But still no one understood these ground breaking performances and the effect that they will have on history and community to come. Who are the participants? What were the events? Are there winners and losers? What would the competition be like? How big is the stage? Who are the judges? All relatively unknown but all would be revealed on Sunday ,February 23rd at 3pm!!! With seven other clubs competing, the competition was fierce and fair with tremendous talent from all over the Tri-state area. In first event, the first competitor to represent Rockland GAA -Coleen Griffin Turk would walk on stage and lift the rafters with her rendition of "Ballseedy Cross", claiming the Bronze medal for Rockland GAA in the solo singing competition. To be followed by the ever-talented Roisin Ross with a heart moving recitation and in turn being rewarded with the Gold medal. The instrumental competition was next and Erin Loughran had her troops in good stead. John Paul Reynolds, Cian & Kaleen McGeever, and Fiona and Ronan Mulligan rocked the hall with their Trad music and endeared the hearts of the judges with a "chieftain " style performance and a beat that earned them the Gold medal hands down with renditions of toe tapping "Kesh Jig" and "The Ash Plant". Mickey Coleman’s team was up next and the All-Ireland winning footballer had his assemble well drilled. This group -led by Eimer Ryan on guitar and backed by vocalists Theresa Glynn, Courtney Ponds, Colleen Griffin Turk, Catherine O’Kelly, and Jade Keogh took the air out of the hall with their ballad performance that "Clannad" could only match with airs of "Galway Bay " and "Courtin’ in the Kitchen" and claimed Rockland their third Gold medal. After a fifteen minutes intermission and a drop of tae, the Rockland novelty act would take the stage and blew the audience away with sterling acting performances in the production and deliverance of "The Gaelic Park Home for Retired Players". Mickey Tu (Connor Burke) rocked and rolled in a wheelchair to the beat of "Timber" while Tommy McCann (Jack Healy) tried to catch the eye of the Nurse (Emily Rowley) and the Doctor (Ryan Doran) had a job on his hands keeping Paddy O’Hara (Tyler Conroy), Johnny O’Brien (James Rowley) and Mickey Murphy (Connor James) on the same football field let alone stage. This act was certainly the crowd’s favorite - particularly when wheel chair turned upside down on the stage- to land this dramatic group a Bronze medal to close the show for Rockland. What a night and what a show! History made, memories made, and hearts endeared. None of such would have happened without the kids, without the parents, without the coaches, and without the love of promoting our Irish culture. Great Thanks to Erin Loughran, Mickey Coleman, Patricia Ross, Marcella Riggs, Bernie Doran, Frank Rowley, Jackie Rowley & Emmett Woods. Thank you to the Scor Na Nog Organizing committee of New York and all the people who worked behind the scenes to make this happen. Congratulations to all the clubs who participated and good luck to the Rockland GAA question time team of Katie O’Neill, Shane Riggs, Brendan O’Gara and Dylan Meehan who will take part in Tra na Geist in the Irish Consulate, 345 Park Avenue in the next few weeks in the final competition of Scor Na Nog. Thank You Paul J. Rowley.
The following link has some of our young musicians at work. Enjoy