Monday, 16th May 2016: Members of one of Dublin’s leading GAA clubs are putting on their dancing shoes, honing their ballroom skills and practicing their moves for what promises to be one of this year’s most exciting fund-raising events. Organised by Clontarf’s Scoil Uí Chonaill GAA Club, the glittering ‘Strictly Scoil’ night in the RDS Concert Hall will see fifteen couples showcase their dancing talents in front of an audience of over 800 supporters on Friday, 17th June.
It will be a scintillating evening of glamour and fancy footwork with guest judges Brent Pope (sportsman and media commentator); Eileen Whelan (RTE newscaster); Liz Sweeny (RTE radio producer); and Ciarán Bauer (lifelong club member ) overseeing the competition and 98FM’s Adrian Kennedy acting as MC for the night. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by emailing StrictlyScoil@gmail.com.
The event is sponsored by Irish energy supplier Naturgy Energy with all proceeds going toward the development of new changing facilities for the club, a state-of-the-art gym and building and maintaining Scoil Uí Chonaill GAA’s established relationships with inner-city Dublin schools as well as developing Dublin GAA’s potential future stars.
“We have an amazing group of club members and supporters who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the club steaming ahead, so it’s great to see so many people getting behind this event to help raise funds for the club. There’s a real sense of excitement building – rehearsals have been under way for weeks now and are picking up pace as the 17th June fast approaches.” said Scoil Chairman Declan Hoban.
Founded in 1950 as a family-run club in Clontarf, Scoil Uí Chonaill CLG focuses on Gaelic Football and Hurling and proudly boasts two Dublin Senior Championships among numerous other League and Championship titles. The club has a long tradition of working closely with local schools in north Dublin, including O’Connell’s School (North Richmond Street); Gaelscoil Colaiste Mhuire (Parnell Square); Gardiner Street National School; St. Columbas National School (North Strand) and St Joseph’s (East Wall).
“We’re slightly unusual in that we’re one of the few clubs in the country without a traditional parish – we’re essentially a parish without borders with a very open, diverse and welcoming culture and this is something we’re keen to build on,” says Mr Hoban. “We’ve big ambitions as a club and over the coming years we plan to expand our facilities significantly while building on our strong connection with local schools.”
Commenting on Naturgy Energy’s sponsorship of Strictly Scoil, managing director and lifelong club member Colm Kennedy said: “Scoil Uí Chonaill is a fantastic club which a very strong community ethos and inclusive culture both on and off the pitch, which is something Naturgy Energy is proud to support. We have a long and enduring relationship with Scoil Uí Chonaill and are delighted to sponsor this fundraiser to help develop the club and expand the facilities and services available to members.”
The organisers are running a social media campaign dubbed #StrictlyScoil in the run up to the event, which is open to all to attend – it is by no means an event intended only for Scoil members as the line-up and audience are shaping up to be as diversified and inclusive as the club’s membership.