John's dream still a wonderful reality
WHEN John Flanagan turned the sod on the new Scoraiocht hall on the Barn Road in Dunleer, he was not only honouring the memories of past traditional music masters from the area, but creating new dreams that are as strong as ever today.
As Hugh Conlon remarked at Saturday's 40 year celebration, the Scoraiocht, designed to promote Irish music and culture, was John's 'vision let loose' and it was fitting he was there on the night with wife Dolly to celebrate the occasion.
Scoraiocht is very much about community and they turned out for the special night, musicians, dancers and singers, along with some face painting and even a dog show.
For those seeking something even more different Tommy McCabe had chicks hatching – live!
One of the highlights for many was the array of historic pictures spanning the 40 years and the events, the birth of the Wren Boys 'Feile an Dreoilin', the St Patrick's Day parades, the crossroads ceili's, the very first session in the Forge in 1974.
The names surround the room, Michael and Paddy Gaffney, Bartle Woods, Liz King and her students, the story of Pappy Usher, Paddy Caskin, Sean Clare, Paddy Byrne, Louise Cavanagh, endless.
The 10th anniversary dinner saw special awards for Patsy Usher, the quite remarkable Mary Anne Carolan and James Grimes.
There was Michael McGahon's image of his stonework that surrounds the centre.
As the music played and the crowds looked on, you got a sense that 40 years is just the beginning of the Scoraiocht story and the youngsters that attend the classes on Friday nights during the season will bring the story to a new level in the years ahead.