Wouldn’t you think that the element of surprise would be missing from Friday night’s Bank of Ireland Castleisland Enterprise Town Expo ? Not so.
It was, after all, on its second lap around the business houses of the town and district – and whoever else wanted to be there.
There were people, many people, who knew and were told they had missed out on something special last year. They didn’t want to repeat the mistake this year.
Chatted and Posed for Photographs
And, there was Miriam O’Callaghan. The broadcaster and journalist covered every inch of the protected floor of Castleisland Community Centre several times.
While here she chatted and posed for photographs with the business people / community group stall holders.
She often had to break stride to meet people who knew her people at ‘Callaghan’s Cross’ and whose fathers had been in school with hers.
There was a special break in stride when she heard ‘Hello Miriam’ and there was Danny Healy Rae, TD on the end of an extended and open hand.
From the time she was introduced by event organiser-in-chief, Paddy Garvey, Ms. O’Callaghan just didn’t stop connecting and impressing people.
Her praise of people who have got businesses up and going or up and running through the recent and on-blowing recession was well received throughout the packed hall.
With a wave of her arm to people who stood at stalls around her or at the far-flung corners of the hall, she said that those most likely to succeed are those who do things well and constantly well and never give up or lose sight of their goals.
Keeping in touch with your roots and remembering who you are and where you’re from is another sound base for success – she advised.
Local Roots and Recalled
Miriam reminded the gathering of her local roots and recalled the childhood summers she spent here. She thanked the management and staff of Castleisland Day Care Centre for looking after a favourite uncle, Jack O’Callaghan up to the time of his death in February 2015.
As well as the business of the floor, there was entertainment of the stage variety. From the opening act by the excellent St. Patrick’s Boys’ Secondary School group of: Art O’Mahony, Jack and Shay Walsh to the closing by the Castleisland Parish Choir the standard was magnificent.
Amazed and Delighted
It is no slight at all on anyone else that Castleisland Community College student, Grace McCarthy would get special mention for the power of her developing and tutored voice. She amazed and delighted her audience with the range of her vocal skills and you’ll be hearing a lot more about her.
Bank of Ireland provided a catering corps from management and staff members and they camped in the northeastern corner of the building.
They were ‘et out of house and home’ and it wasn’t that they didn’t bring enough. Mountains of sandwiches, boxes of biscuits, jars of coffee and boxes of tea were devoured in a feeding frenzy that would look frightening on a time-lapse film.
The sheer levels of organisational and community effort which went into presenting the centre, as it appeared at opening time on Friday evening, was enormous.
It is clearly a credit to all involved and it is equally clear that there is an appetite throughout the area for more of the same in 2017.
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