Saturday 25th February, 2012St. Macartan’s Success at All Ireland Schools Light Entertainment Festival
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Huge crowds converged on the Briery Gap Theatre, Macroom on Saturday February 25 for the second All Ireland Secondary Schools Light Entertainment Festival with celebrity judges, Michael Twomey of Cha and Miah fame and RTE’s Kevin Hough. More than 300 contestants were on stage, accompanied by production teams, teachers and parents, bringing a great buzz, not to mention a financial spin off, to the mid-Cork capital. After 4 regional events, eight finalists, hailing from Monaghan, Louth, Westmeath, Dublin, Kerry and Cork, brought a huge amount of talent to the stage with adjudicator Kevin Hough stating that the standard had risen significantly from when he judged the inaugural festival in 2011.
The local entry, St. Mary’s, Macroom, were declared winners and were presented with €1,000 and the Donal Buckley Perpetual Trophy. Their impeccable choral work also earned them the Mary McSweeney Perpetual Trophy for Best Choral Group while Claire Cronin won the Best Individual Act award with her impressive solo dance. St. Macartan’s College, Monaghan, was according to the judges, placed a very close second. With a mix of rock, traditional  music, choral work, wind, string and percussion performances as well as what the judges described as a dynamic presentation by step dancer Karl McQuaid, the St. Macartan’s group was awarded the William Harrington Memorial Trophy for Best Traditional Performance as well as second place overall.