Sunday 24 March 2019

Having a ball at the Duhallow Hunt bash

People came from far and wide for one the most glamorous events on the local social calendar

Sheila Fitzgerald

Glitz, glamour and fun were the hallmarks of the ever-popular annual Duhallow Hunt Ball, which took place at Springfort Hall Hotel last Saturday night.

Visitors from the United States, the UK, Sweden and counties across Ireland including Tyrone, Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow, Wicklow, Meath, Tipperary and Limerick joined locals who attended the gala event from throughout the North Cork area.

The host Hunt Club was very well represented by three of their four current masters; the fourth was unfortunately unable to attend due to injury. 

These representatives were Matt Nagle and his wife, Regine; Pat Hayes and his wife, Donna; as well as Peter O'Meara and his wife Hilary. 

Retired master Maurice O'Connell was also in attendance with his wife, Rosemary, as well as huntsman Ger Withers and his wife, Maria. 

Other local attendees included Philip and Catherine O'Flynn, Pat and Bets Coleman; chairman of the Hunt Pat Fleming with his wife, Eleanor; Alexander Mills MFH and Siobhan Buchanan Johnson of the Iveagh Hunt. 

What was also notable and encouraging about the evening was the number of of young people attending, which ensured energy levels were high and the human donkey derby - with humans as the donkeys - was run at an exciting pace. 

Peter O'Meara was MC for the night and carried out the ever-popular auction, which included items such as hunting days with various groups around the country; riding lessons from local three-day event experts Sian Coleman and Brian Morrison; a hunting trip to the Middleton Hunt in the UK (including accommodation); Irish weekend breaks at hotels; a beautiful hand-made bridle from local saddler Phil Richardson; as well as paintings and many more items.

The organising committee consisting of Maria Aherne, Hilary O'Meara, Julie Roche, Liz Ryan, Diana McLernon, Jane O'Flynn, Fiona O'Meara and Elaine Palmer were very happy with the evening's proceedings and were congratulated on organising yet another superb event.

The popularity of this annual get-together is notable and definitely one of the top social dates on the local calendar. Music and entertainment was provided by the ever-popular Bog The Donkey, who kept the revellers dancing until well into the early hours of Sunday morning.