THE Am Spraoi fundraising fashion show, organised to raise money for a new playground in Dingle, attracted huge crowds to the Skellig Hotel last Friday as over 320 fashion devotees of all ages settled down for what was to be a great night's entertainment.
Fear an Tí on the night, The Republic of Telly's Bernard O'Shea, regaled the crowd with his easy going charm and colloquial comedy, getting the night underway with the aid of stunning local models Sinead Moriarty from Lispole and Siobhan Garvey from Ventry.
Collections from Dingle's La Boheme, Madhatters, Inspired Earth, Finn McCools, Garvey's Sport & Leisure, Kathleen McAuliffe and Strand House featured on the night along with offerings from Annbury's, McBees, Ryles, Dunnes and TK Maxx in Tralee and Killarney. A special section for up and coming Kerry designers also proved to be a big hit.
Laois native Bernard O'Shea, whose father hails from Annascaul, was clearly impressed by the great fashion on show and indeed the gorgeous models who sashayed down the catwalk to a soundtrack provided by DJ Ciarán Williams.
There was plenty of other entertainment on the night, including salsa dancing and music by the Dingle Carnival Band along with raffle prizes, infused with Corca Dhuibhne's own unique brand of 'craic agus ceilruadh'.
According to Tor Cotton of the Am Spraoi Dingle Playground Committee, the event raised in excess of €4,700 (the final tally is currently being tabulated). "The highlight was the atmosphere; everyone loved it and the buzz was brilliant," she said. "We would like to thank everyone in the community who attended, helped, modelled, exhibited and donated prizes, particularly the Skellig Hotel, DJ Ciaran Williams and of course master of ceremonies Bernard O'Shea."
"The committee are also extremely grateful to Elaine Sheehy and Grainne Collins for organising the Fashion Show for us; they did a stunning job."
The Am Spraoi committee, which currently comprises Cllr Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald (chairperson), Claire Galvin (secretary), Tor Cotton (treasurer), John Walsh, Geraldine Walsh, Eilín Uí Luing, Neasa Moran and Laurence Wetterwald, will now look at proposed locations for a new playground in Dingle.
"The proposed location and only real option, preferred by Kerry County Council, is to convert a corner of the Marina Car Park," said Tor. "The next job is to hold an open public meeting with Kerry County Council present and invite the Strand Street business holders and residents where we can discuss all the pros and cons of the site."
"Many other locations might make wonderful playgplayground s , such as the site of the o ld boatyard, bu t unfortunately they are unavailable and we could be waiting many years without a playground for one of them to become available," she said. "The committee, in conjunction with Kerry County Council, have literally scoured the town researching possible locations and feel the Marina site is the only viable option."