Fred & Ginger, Torvill & Dean, Nora & Paddy = Dancing, Strictly

At the River Island Hotel, from shortly after 7-30pm on Friday night,  it was a case of standing room only as raging hot favorites, Nora Fealey and Paddy White waltzed away with the most talked about dancing title since the demise of the Fleadh Cheoil here in Castleisland.
The Strictly Come Dancing idea is one that worked wonderfully well and jointly for Muire Gan Smal Presentation Primary School and Castleisland Desmonds Ladies GAA Club. It has stuck itself to the must do-it-again wall and its outright success stands as a great credit to those who adapted it for a local audience.
The idea may be an import but the adaptation was wonderfully local. Played out with great gusto and no little skill it was local to the point that the Tops-of-the-Town ran right through my head as I watched the carry-on of the contestants ‘backstage’ and their capers on the floor.
And, apparently, I’m not the only one. Is it possible that the great old fundraiser could be dusted off and presented to a whole new generation of hill and valley dwellers for our entertainment here next winter ?
There is immense talent here and around the rim of the valley. It could be done. There are so many stories about the heyday of ‘The Tops’ and some can be told in an open forum.  One that tops for quick wit and thinking-on-your-feet must go to the late College Road resident, Mickey Donovan.
Tomo Burke is the author of the tale: Mickey was immersed in a song of many verses on stage one night and, most unlike him, he slipped up two from home. Nobody copped it when Mickey presumptuously announced: There’s several more verses to that and if ye want to hear them ye’ll have to come back here the next night.”
Mickey’s announcement brought down the house.  The audience thought it was part of the act and the brazen presumption that his group would get through to the following week’s round became the object of their laughter and reaction. Mickey took several bows that night and the secret was his.