Two All-Ireland Scor titles for Leitrim

Saturday last was a memorable occasion for Leitrim Scór as Glencar/Manorhamilton and Aughnasheelin were declared All Ireland champions in Rince Foirne and Amhránaíocht Aonair respectively at the All Ireland finals in Killarney.

Saturday last was a memorable occasion for Leitrim Scór as Glencar/Manorhamilton and Aughnasheelin were declared All Ireland champions in Rince Foirne and Amhránaíocht Aonair respectively at the All Ireland finals in Killarney.

Saturday last was a memorable occasion for Leitrim Scór as Glencar/Manorhamilton and Aughnasheelin were declared All Ireland champions in Rince Foirne and Amhránaíocht Aonair respectively at the All Ireland finals in Killarney.

For Glencar/Manorhamilton it was a long-awaited and richly-deserved reward for perseverance and persistence. For each of the previous eight years, they had reached the All-Ireland finals and travelled to Killarney and other venues, with great hopes, only to come home disappointed on each occasion.

Others would have given up but Claire McMorrow, their tutor and manager didn’t. The memory of two previous wins in 1993 and 1999 kept them going in the hope that their day would come and come it did on Saturday last.

The dancing team of Amanda Sweeney, Nicole O’Hara, Aoife Duignan, Bronagh Rooney, Aidan McLoughlin, Ciaran McManus, Shane Conaire and Brendan Byrne gave a great performance dancing the Cross Reel and the adjudicators put them ahead of Killyclogher, Co Tyrone, Glenflesk, Co Kerry and St Martin’s, Co Louth.

Two of the group: Amanda Sweeney and Shane Conaire were on the last Glencar/Manorhamilton team to win the Figure Dance All Ireland in 1999. The long wait was over.

The sight of bonfires blazing on the approach to Manorhamilton last Sunday and hundreds on the streets in Manorhamilton to greet them back made it all worth it. It was a memorable homecoming as the dancers performed on the street as darkness fell on a happy group of dancers and supporters.

An hour earlier last Sunday, the bonfires were blazing in Aughnasheelin as Aisling Sammon returned as All Ireland champion to her home parish.

Crowds assembled to celebrate in the Community Centre and the joy was unbounded as Aisling returned a hero having taken the All Ireland title 24 hours earlier against the best of the other provinces: Mary Connolly form Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh, Áine Sheehan , Foilmore, Co Kerry and Eilis McLoughlin, Ardagh, Co Longford.

Aisling’s win was something special for Leitrim as this was the first time ever that a Leitrim singer won an All Ireland Scór title in either Scór Sinsear or Scór na nÓg.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.