John Egan reports on the inaugural Cumann Rince Dea Mheasa Munster Championships at Killarney Racecourse
How could anyone resist an invitation to be at the inaugural Munster Championships of the Irish dancing organisation Cumann Rince Dea Mheasa (CRDM), knowing they were to take place at the Killarney Racecourse.
Rumour has it that even retired race horses would give their eye teeth to have one more outing if only they could experience this most picturesque of courses, nestling betwixt the mountains and the lakes of this beautiful Killarney national park.
Noreen and I hightailed it from the dull flatlands of Epsom with its Derby fame, and hurriedly made our way down the M4 to Pembroke, having decided to sandwich a weekend Irish dancing stay in Killarney with a few days of relaxation and sightseeing.
Killarney was worth the discomforts thrown at us by thethe gales and rains of Storm Eleanor that remained with us for much of our stay. Nor did the weather dampen the enthusiasm of dancers and their families who travelled to the championships from all over Ireland.
Indeed the event organisers, dance teachers Bernie O’Sullivan and Lorraine Brennan, although very pleased with the turnout, were more than a little surprised that so many had braved the elements in order to tread the boards at this first CRDM Munster Championships.
I guess one can understand why the championship level dancers are prepared to go that extra mile to increase the haul of trophies on their display shelves, but it really is creditable for so many young beginners to set out from faraway places, and in most cases just to get that first or extra early competition experience.
But wouldn’t it be nice if Met Éireann could arrange for all winter storms to bypass Killarney when the Munster Championships take place there again next year.