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1999 All-Ireland Scor na nOg Final

Music To Westmeath Ears As Caulry Take All-Ireland Title

On Saturday last, February 20th, a large contingent of Westmeath followers made the long trip to Limerick for the All-Ireland Finals of Scór na nóg 1998/'99. They travelled in high hopes of victory, with three acts to cheer on, Caulry's musicians, St. Joseph's quiz team and St. Paul's set dancers.
We had fine performances from the St. Joseph's trio and also from the St. Paul's set but unfortunately, despite their gallant efforts they had to come away empty-handed. Not so for Caulry! They played their hearts out and gave the adjudicators ample evidence that traditional music is alive and well in the Lake County.

Patricia Browne (fiddle), Patrick Buckley (piano accordion) and Susan Conlon (flute) representing the Caulry club in Westmeath were last on stage in this competition. Their opponents came from Portglenone (County Antrim), Corofin (County Galway) and Doora-Barefield (Co. Clare). The large Westmeath following after listening to the first three groups felt that Caulry were in with a chance, but only if they reached the levels they had produced in the county and provincial finals. That they did, in no uncertain manner! Their performance was flawless and their reel playing, in particular, was worth hearing. No doubt that was a major factor in their win. What a great honour for this talented young trio, and richly deserved too, since they've been knocking on the door for some time now.
Patrick, Patricia and Susan have now gone into the Scór annals in Westmeath. In doing so they gave Westmeath a second instrumental music title and an eighth title in all. The last music title was in 1982 when Dave Sheridan and Tommy Murphy, representing Rosemount took the honours. Dave later went on to win a Senior All-Ireland with the Tubber club in Offaly. We have every confidence that this talented trio can go on to emulate Dave's feat in the not-too-distant future.

Westmeath's second participants were the St. Joseph's trio of Enda Seery, Alan McCormack and Mary Stokes. Like Caulry, St. Joseph's were appearing in their second final in succession and hopes were high that this would be their year after last year's tiebreak defeat. Opposition came from Abbeydorney (Kerry), Templeport (Cavan) and Milltown of Galway. A very nervous start left the Westmeath champions playing "catch-up" for the remainder of the contest. Yet Mary, Enda and Alan fought it to the last, as usual, and at the finish were only two questions behind the winners, Milltown.
St. Joseph's can be proud of this team's achievements in the past two years. They won two County and Leinster titles and were narrowly beaten in two All-Irelands. Not bad!

Despite problems not of their making, the St. Paul's dancers gave an excellent performance. In fact, they literally gave a performance and a half! The first part of the set, due to an amplification problem, the music could not be heard beyond the stage and the adjudicators requested a repeat performance, when the amplification had been reset - without major improvement. 
This was an endurance test for the young St. Paul's group.
However, the group consisting of Ciaran Dolan, Fiona Golden, Carla Smith, Sinead Corrigan, Orlene Smith, Deirdre Rice, Michelle Smith and Nicola Tuite rose to the occasion and can feel justly proud of their performance. This was a rare occasion for these young dancers, it being their club's first ever appearance at this stage of Scór. Hopefully it won't be their last.

We in Westmeath Scór are very proud of all our young competitors. We wish to again congratulate Caulry on their historic achievement. We also extend congratulations to St. Joseph's and St. Paul's on their fine performances. All competitors did their parents, schools, clubs and county proud, both on stage and off. We salute you!

We congratulate Scór Na Muaham on the manner in which they organised proceedings and the precision with which the timetable was observed. Tommy Moran from County Leitrim, an able Scór participant himself, proved a worthy Fear A Tí. We also congratulate Br. Sylvester Carney, from Clara, who, as usual, proved to be an excellent Question Master, ably assisted by Colette Rabbette, timekeeper and Catherine Buckley, scorekeeper. All in all, this was a very memorable day. P.R.O

Extract from the Westmeath Independent Archives, February 27th, 1999