Over 1100 people packed into the Lyrath Hotel Conference Centre on Saturday night last to support the 34 contestants who made the ‘Piltown Does Strictly’ event such an overwhelming success.
The fun competition, which raised funds for the primary schools in Piltown, Owning and Templeorum, as well as Piltown Community Enterprise Centre, was won by James Coleman (of Suirway Forklifts and Farm Machinery) and Paula O’Dwyer (of Brewery Lane Drama and Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society fame).
Their fantastic quickstep earned them top marks from judges Ashling Clarke, Phyllis Daniels, Father Paschal Moore and Pat Power.
Also earning top marks were runners-up Scott Wheeler (OK Lift Trucks) and Máirin Aylward (Owning and Templeorum NS) who performed an energetic Charleston, while Olivia Sinnott (Piltown NS) and local farmer David O’Shea took third place thanks to their Tango.
The winners were chosen as follows: 30 per cent of their overall vote was based on the monies raised by each couple, a further 30 per cent from audience voting on the night and the remaining 40 per cent of voting rested with the judges.
“The last seven weeks, getting ready for tonight, it’s been a lot of hard work but a lot of fun,” said James. “But, I think as everyone saw on stage here tonight, each and every one of us had an absolute ball. It’s been a great few weeks.” A delighted Paula added: “Delighted, I’m just delighted – it’s like winning an Oscar!”
Each of the contestants also featured in a mini-film, screened before each dance, with each comedic caper sending the audience into belly laughs.
A prize was also awarded for the best video, with Stephanie Coffey (Glanbia, Belview) and Nigel Coffey (Brophy Transport) taking home the spoils for their ‘Milk Tray’ themed film, shot in Carrick-on-Suir.
* The event was MC’d by this reporter and well-known musical theatre performer Irene Malone (beautifully dressed on the night by My Dress, Carrick-on-Suir), and it was a pleasure to be involved on the night. Well done to all the dancers, as well as the event’s committee, namely: Mark Connolly (Chair), Fiona Kenny, Kay Phelan, Maria O’Mahony,
Siobhán Dermody and Mark Carroll (The Jive)
Margot Grace and Pierce O’Loughlin (The Waltz)
Olivia Sinnott and David O’Shea (The Tango)
Niall Kinsella and Libby Hanrahan (The Samba)
Shirley Power and John Lonergan (Disco)
Norman Storey and Joan Dwyer (American Smooth)
Máirín Aylward and Scott Wheeler (The Charleston)
Ann O’Neill and Michael Long (Bollywood)
James Coleman and Paula O’Dwyer (The Quickstep)
Sara Conlon and Philly Kenny (Country Hip Hop)
Lynn Nolan and Stephen Kelly (Cha Cha Cha)
Gillian O’Meara and Walter ‘Wally’ Murphy (The Swing)
Rachel Dunne and ‘Dazzling’ David Kinsella (Rock & Roll)
Sandra Quinn and Maurice Flynn (The Twist)
James Connolly and Sheila Norris (Disco)
Lisa Fitzgerald and Jack Miller (Bollywood)
Stephanie Coffey and Nigel Coffey (Salsa)