All Ireland champions
Dundalk's own 'Red Army' marched on the Kingdom of Kerry last week as Scoil Rince Mona Ni Rodaigh danced their way to success at Oireachtas Rince na hÉireann in Killarney.
Led by the Mighty Mona herself, the local school went on to take an incredible 4 All Ireland titles back to the town, two for solo dancing and two for céili dancing. An achievement unparalleled by any other Irish school.
The week kicked off on a high as the youngest dancers sealed the first title with the Sub-Minor Céili taking first place Under 11. There was further team success during the week as the U13 teams, both mixed and girls came in as runners-up.
Gareth O'Connor, the school's reigning World Champion took home the U17 Boys championship with a very decisive win on Thursday last, beating stiff competition from the UK and the USA as well as several of the best Irish lads. There was further céili success as the U19 ladies from Dundalk took yet another first place and that was soon followed by the U21 Ladies result which saw Alannah Murray win in style with a flawless 500 points (perfect score). In a field of the finest dancers in the world, this was an incredible achievement.
Some of the school's solo dancers also featured on the podium including Caolán Brogan in 3rd place and Niamh Muldowney in 5th place.
Speaking of their success, Mona added says 'It's always difficult to know how competitions like this will go - we work incredibly hard down in St Nicholas' hall day in, day out. It's very special for me and my daughters Ciara andDearbhla to see great results like this coming back to Dundalk. We expect such high standards from our dancers but thankfully days like this make it all worth while. We were back in action as soon as we returned from Killarney though as the World Championships take place Easter week in Glasgow.'
See www.monanirodaigh.com for details of all dance classes