BY SEÁN P. FEENY
ONE of the most eagerly anticipated events to take place in the Lower Rosses has finally arrived. Next weekend it’s time for Naomh Mhuire’s Jigs and Reels.
12 couples have been training for the past three months for the Naomh Mhuire fund-raising event with former Lord Of The Dance, Fiona Gallagher putting them through their paces with her coaches, Pius Gallagher and Marie Sharkey.
Getting 24 novice dancers together for rehearsals has brought a lot of craic and plenty of stories and funny anecdotes, she said.
“Some of the funniest stories came from when we were trying to work on straightening up their lines in a sequence of moves.
“Bearing in mind the cast contains members of both rival bands, Mullaghduff and Rann na Feirste, one would have thought line drills would not be a factor.
“This particular night a certain Burtonport man got compared to ‘running through a hedge’ as he tried to demonstrate his idea of staying in line,” she laughed.
Other tales include a local Annagry bachelor ‘waiting all night’ to place his hands around ‘a young fiery red head’ – watch this space.
The dedicated dancers began their training at the club house in the Banks at Mullaghdearg on December 27 (yes, the day after St Stephen’s Day while others were still resting).
Fiona said: At that point I hadn’t really the foresight of what I was undertaking, which was probably for the best,” she laughed, “The dancers were extremely enthusiastic and there was a great energy among them that night as they practised their one two three’s and trebles.”
It was all a very new experience for the participants, including one Hugh Sissy McCafferty who said ‘the only treble’ he had heard of was a vodka.
“They puffed and panted their way through it and with great determination. I’m proud to say all 24 dancers are proficient treblers now,” said Fiona.
The Saturday night show, The Grand Finale, is already sold out, but there are still tickets available for Friday night from The Cope, Annagry and Siopa Chroithshlí.
Tickets are priced €20. The profit raised will go straight into the upcoming building of additional changing rooms and match standard floodlights at the Banks with a portion also going to the patients funds at Dungloe Community Hospital.