There was the sad news this week with passing on Sunday morning of our Life Member and former player Cahal Keown. Cahal played his football with the Town for many years and gave great service to the Club. His quiet demeanour off the pitch was in contrast to his attitude in the arena of the game where the scribe of this column and others were always glad he was there backing us up. He will be sadly missed. The Executive Committee and Members wish to express their deepest sympathy to his wife Roisin, son Gareth and Daughter Deborah all of whom are life members of Our Club. We also extend our sympathies to his brothers Danny and Michael who are also Life Members of our Club and to the wide family circle on their sad loss. Ar dheis de go raibh a anam dilis.
Saturday morning past saw the coming together of the members and friends of Castlewellan GAC at a Big Breakfast morning in the club. As you are all aware The Doyle Family and our fellow Gaels of the Liatroim Fontenoys lost Ryan tragically in Australia over a fortnight ago. We would like to thank all those who contributed to hosting the morning, those who attended and those who sent in contributions as they could not be there in person. The generosity of our community knows no bounds. The total sum raised by you the members and friends was £2000. Thank you. Castlewellan GAC was only too glad to facilitate the generosity of you all writes Michael McClean.
Our Annual General Meeting took place last Thursday evening in the clubrooms. Thank you to all who attended on what was a very cold evening. The following were elected as officers: Chairman, Rory McCabe, Vice Chairman, Kevin Sweeney; Secretary, Brian Dougherty; Assistant Secretary, terry Connolly; Treasurer, Brian O’Neill; Assistant Treasurer, Cillian Keaveney; Registrar, Ronan King; PRO, Martin McClean; Additional Committee Members Gerry Dougherty, Moira Hawkins, Miceal Crilly, Ollie Doyle, Liam Sloan, Gary Cairns, Paul Connolly, Aidan Rodgers, Francie McAlinden, Paul McArdle, Cormac McCabe, Danny McCartan, John McCartan Fintan McGreevy Snr, John O’Neill, Kevan Owens, Paul Hanna and Ciaran Brannigan. The first meeting of the new committee will be on Thursday 6 December in the Club at 8.30pm.
The County Scor na nóg Champions The Castlewellan Instrumental Group represented Club & County last Saturday Night at the Ulster Semi-Final which was held in Saval. Unfortunately they did not make it through to the Ulster Final despite putting on a first class show. They gave it their all. We are all proud of what they have done and achieved and they should feel the same way. Well done to Niamh Howell, Miadhachlughain O Donnell, Ciara Maguire, Niamh Bloomer and Ruairi Howell, You represented your Club and County with pride and distinction.
Congratulations to St Malachy’s Primary School who were successful at the Cumann na mBunscol National Awards in Croke Park last Friday night. They were declared the best in Ireland for their promotion of Gaelic Games in the large school category. This is the first time this title has come to County Down. Principal Maurice O’Neill accepted the award on behalf of everyone in the school. An obviously delighted Maurice put the success down to his hard working staff members which included club member Cormac McCabe who were responsible for preparing the submission. The judges had short listed the entries down from forty to three. For St Malachy’s to be awarded first place is a tremendous achievement. The submission was described as outstanding by the judges. Maurice paid tribute to former parents of children in the school our club members Noreen Keown and Laurence McAlinden who give generously of their time voluntarily to help promote Gaelic Games amongst all the pupils. Well done to everyone in the school. We here in the Club are only too appreciative of the fantastic work that is being done by St Malachy’s and all the schools in our parish.
Someone once said” “When it comes to the requirements for pleasing an audience, all the knowledge and instruction and apparatus in the world is worth less than one ounce of soul”. Yes Saturday night saw the second of The Castlewellan Come Dancing Semi-Finals take place to another packed house. As in last week’s show the audience were delighted with the performances of the dancers who entertained us all so well. Even if it did not go to script at times, no one cared. If it went wrong then the dancers like true troupers of the stage picked themselves up hence the show must go on. From no one putting baby in the corner to Gangnam Style. From 007 to a graceful waltz, everyone was enthralled with the show the dancers put on.
Our Judges Josephine Brennan-King, Gemma Blayney and our own Ciaran Crilly and Club Chairman Rory McCabe again did a terrific job though this week they had their work cut out more than usual. After the exit from the competition of Ben Rice and his wife Grainne and Shannon McCavery & Aidan Brogan who danced so magnificently the whole night it came down to an unexpected ending. Ciara Stratton & Gregory McCartan and Amy Brannigan & Ray Cunningham had filled the first two qualifying places. There was a dead heat. The judges then had to decide who would stay in the competition. The two very popular couples Claire Dougherty & Harry Toner and Kirsty McAleese & Ronan King found themselves at the mercy of the judges.
It came down to the wire with head judge Josephine who had the casting vote confirming that it would be Kirsty and Ronan going through to the final. What a finale to the evening and an unenviable job for the judges. So to the Final on Saturday 15 December 2012. Expect to see frenetic dance activity around the club from now until then. It is the last push and the last chance for all the couple who qualified for the final to fine tune their routine. There will be war in the McCartan household when Sinead & Gregory square off against each other. The fake tan, fake hair fake eyelashes lying round their house. Sinead make sure Gregory cleans up after him! Details of tickets for the final will be released this week. Watch out for our Facebook page and the Club website www.castlewellangac.com.
The Winter Fun Coaching continues on Monday evenings. Again we encourage and welcome as many parents as possible to help with the coaching. The programme will continue on Monday evenings. Please feel free to still come along and join in. The times are as follows; P1 to P4 6.00pm to 7.00pm and P5 to P7 7.00pm to 8.00pm.
There will be a darts exhibition in the Club on Saturday Night when the World Ranked No 9 Terry Jenkins nicknamed “The Bull” will be on the oche. The 2011 World Semi Finalist will play against some of the local talent. So if you fancy your chances against “The Bull” come on up to the Club and see what you can do. Hey Jason and Luke let’s see how good you are!
* The numbers in this week’s lotto were 1, 4 9, 15. There were no jackpot winners and one £20 winners; Emily McAlinden. Jackpot next week is £2700.