Kilshannig celebrated All-Ireland glory last Saturday, the Cork club winning the Ceol Uirlise (Instrumental Music) competition at the All-Ireland Scór Sinsir final in Castlebar.
Competing against groups from Mayo, Laois and Antrim, the Kilshannig ensemble, consisting of Fergus McGrath, Sheila Kavanagh, Darragh O Shea, Daniel O Callaghan, and Veronica O’Mahony took the verdict for their rendition of the Bottle of Punch (jig), the Green Groves of Erin, and the Killiavil (both reels).
This victory was particularly sweet given 2019 is the 50th anniversary of Scór, the cultural branch of the GAA which was founded by Cork man Derry Gowen, the late father of current county board treasurer Diarmuid Gowen.
The Kilshannig Scór Na nÓg instrumental group had won three consecutive Munster titles in recent years but never managed to get across the line at the All Ireland. That all changed last weekend, in what was the group’s first year competing at senior level.
“We gave it everything on the night,” said Shelia Kavanagh. “We are so grateful to everyone involved, but especially Michael O’Sullivan (Kilshannig cultural officer) and Alan Finn (team coach). We couldn’t have done it without them."
Commented Darragh O’Shea: “So happy to represent my club and be part of a team who brought an All Ireland to Kilshannig.”
Added Fergus McGrath: “We worked hard as a team. The long hours of practice paid off, I enjoyed every moment.”
The club’s cultural officer Michael O’Sullivan has been promoting Scór for 30 years and was delighted to see Kilshannig secure All-Ireland glory.
“So proud to be in Castlebar last Saturday and to witness the triumph and glory bestowed on the Kilshannig club and our five dedicated musicians. It has been 19 years since Cork had a victory in Instrumental Music. A lot of credit goes to our trainer Alan Finn.”