The aim of the Scór competition is to promote our Gaelic heritage while at the same time providing a social outlet for clubs during the winter season. Newcastle’s involvement in Scór began in 1973. The competition, which began on a small scale in Cork in 1969, had evolved into an All-Ireland competition with the first All-Ireland final taking place in Dublin in 1970. It was with a great sense of expectation and excitement on a January evening in 1973 that our clubs first competitors, along with a large number of supporters, travelled to Burncourt to take part in the South semi-final. A marker for future success was laid down that night when both the figure and set dancing groups qualified for the South final.

            Success was not long in coming to the club as the first county title was won in the Rince Fóirne competition in the Premier Hall, Thurles in 1974. The members of the first title winning team were Noel Grant, Majella Sweeney, Tommy Coleman, Mary Kelly, Anthony O’Flynn, Helen Duggan, Michael O’Keeffe and Patsy Nugent. From then on, Newcastle was always on the programme for both south and county finals and a tradition was born that still exists to this day.

            One of the driving forces behind the success of the dancers was the arrival, in 1969, of dancing teacher Monnie Hallahan. At the request of the local branch of Muintir na Tíre, Monnie was asked to start dancing lessons in the local community hall and Monnie’s arrival ensured that there would be a continuous supply of dancers to take part in the Scór competitions. The roll of honour of dancing titles illustrates the impact that Monnie has had in Newcastle down the years. Monnie has now retired and Kathy McGrath has taken over the dancing classes with further success, with Kathy already winning county titles in all three grades of Scór within the county.

            Although initial success for Newcastle in Scór came through the dancing competitions, titles have also been won in many other disciplines down the years. Mary Nugent was victorious in the All-Ireland solo-singing competition in 1992 and Mary combined with her sisters Michele and Annette and Tomás O’Keeffe to win the All-Ireland Ballad Group in Athlone in 1996. Numerous county and south titles have also been won in the Novelty Act, Question Time and Recitiation. For a small club, the record that Newcastle has across all Scór competitions is remarkable and hopefully this will continue in the years ahead.

Subpages (1): Scór Sinsear Titles