Irish Dance: Munster Championships in Killarney

Irish Dance Munster Championships Killarney
Aoife Griffiths (The Academy) won the age 6 championship; 2.Sophie Mooney (More Irish Dance Acad), 3.Ellie Byrne (The Academy).

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.

Irish Dance Munster Championships Killarney
In the age 15 and over prelim championship podium places went to 1.Molly Hyland (Croi Academy), 2.Orlaith Ni Chroinin (SRUT), 3.Abbie Duffy (Doyle Halpin Sch), 4.Niamh Finnegan (BOS Sch), 5.Elle Renshaw Colgan (Sarah Jane’s Sch).
Irish Dance Munster Championships Killarney
I think Rebecca Reardon was pleased to learn she had won the age7/8 open championship.
Irish Dance Munster Championships Killarney
Rebecca Rearden (MORE Irish Dance) was the age 7/8 open champion; 2.Lexie Brady-Browne (MORE Irish Dance), 3.Frayah Gaffney (Doyle Halpin Sch), 4.Caolainn Breen (Bernie O’Sullivan), 5.Mia Doherty (Furness Sch).

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.

Irish Dance Munster Championships Killarney
Jenna Moorhouse, O’Brien School, was pleased with her 2nd place in the age 11 championship.

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.

Irish Dance Munster Championships Killarney
Podium places in the age 8 prelim championship went to 1.Lexie Brady Browne (MORE Irish Dance), 2. Caoilainn Breen (BOS Sch), 3.Caoimhe O Sullivan (BOS Sch), 4.Amy Arthur (BOS Sch), 5.Dearbhla Smithers (Doyle Halpin Sch).

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.

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