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Musical Night Marks Big Switch-On

22 March 2010

Aghaderg/Ballyvarley GAA club celebrated the official switch-on of its new floodlight facility with an evening of sport and entertainment at the weekend. The £12,000 project to erect floodlighting around the club’s training ground at its Scarva Road site was completed recently, and on Saturday evening the community was invited to see the work for itself. It’s the latest in a number of development projects which has seen close to £110,000 spent there in the past few years. Entertainment began with a hot punch reception and a slideshow of photographs of members past and present. Fr Andrew McMahon, a native of the parish, dedicated the new facility before long-standing club members Bertie Leckey and Jimmy Stewart, who’ve given decades of service to the club, were asked to cut the ribbon and hit the switch. A large number of families attended the function, which was sponsored generously by Donaghy’s Sports Shop. The crowd watched as a group of U-8s/10 footballers, and U-14 hurlers provided competitive, but good natured matches under the new lights. After the games, people returned to the hall where refreshments were served and the gathering was entertained by traditional musicians, and an informal concert. Colum Conway co-ordinated the entertainment and as well as singing himself, introduced members of the club who’d represented Aghaderg/Ballyvarley in the Junior Scor in recitation(Caoimhe Macauley), solo singing (Eimear Devlin) and the ballad section (Siubhán Macauley, Rebecca and Laura Fletcher and Katie Canniford – Hannah Malone participated in the Scor but was absent on the night). The crowd was also delighted by some graceful and energetic Irish Dancing by Jenny and Connie Rea and by some fine fiddle and tin whistle playing by the Stewart family. Club Chairman Seamus McGath said: ``The night was an opportunity to thank those who’ve supported us over the years and helped us to build facilities here that we can all be proud of. ``It was great to see how much talent we have within the club, and to able to showcase the children on a night like this is fantastic``. Fr McMahon was presented with a hurl embossed with the club crest in appreciation of his attendance. The night was rounded off when the Glenn Ballad Group, which reached the County Final of the Senior Scor, turned up for a guest appearance fresh from Armagh/Down match in Newry. The night was brought to a fitting close with a rousing recitation to music by Declan McConaghy about the historic first Down All-Ireland victory in 1960. Declan is the County Champion in Recitation. He will perform the piece again at the 2010 GAA Congress in Newcastle next month which will mark the 50th anniversary of that famous victory.