*The dancers signed up for Strictly Blue. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS GAA club will be getting in the groove next month as part of plans for continued development within the grounds.

Twelve different couples have partnered up for ‘Strictly Blue’, a dancing fundraiser that will be part of a three day celebration in the village taking place from December 9th to December 11th.

Music and dance will replace hurling, camogie and ladies football at Fr Murphy Memorial Park in the big fundraiser that will go towards constructing an indoor facility. One September joined by Fionn Hayes and Dylan Jack will start the weekend while The Tumbling Paddies finish the festivities with their Sunday night concert. The intervening act of a host of local dancers will offer some Saturday night fever.

Weekend passes worth €55 are available to buy on Eventbrite and from local GAA officials while tickets for each night can also be purchased, Friday (€10), Saturday (€25) and Sunday (€20).

Speaking at the recent launch of the fundraiser, Chairman of Newmarket-on-Fergus GAA, Freddy McInerney predicted it would be “a festival of fun on our hallowed pitch”. He explained, “we are running this to bring the community back together after a horrific two years, it is a chance to do something which hasn’t been done in a long time”. It is set to cost the club over €30,000 to run the “festival of fun”.

McInerney outlined that it was the third phase in the club’s development following on from the €110k clubhouse refurbishment and the €355k Astro-turf, the latter is “almost all paid for after three years which is testament to the community”.

Phase three will be a facility for the whole family, he promised. “We want to build something that is family orientated, coaches are concerned about their teams but it is our job as an Executive to be concerned with the club as a whole, we’re a one club model, we’re all under the one umbrella and rowing in the same direction. Now more than ever with mental health and physical exercise, everyone is looking in the one direction. The fundraiser will be a drop in the ocean on what’s required but a great start”. Exact plans for the development have not been finalised but are set to include a gym and fitness studios.


Among the confirmed dancers include well-known farmer Joe Melody, local publican Mary Quinlivan, the club’s first senior championship winning camogie captain Elaine Madden, Brian Enright of the Cryotherapy Clinic, backballer inventor Noel ‘Bricky’ Marshall, ex Clare camogie player Erica Minogue, a hurler known to many referees of the county Eoin ‘Smiley’ McInerney, primary school teachers Brid Enright and Aislinn Keogh, soccer referee Flan Sheedy.

Other dancers joining them on the night include, Alan Hehir, Marcia Jones, Louise Ryan, Vicky Cassley, Mike Hegarty, Paudie Conway, Ger Devanney, Lisa O’Neill, David Frost, Hannah Fitzgerald, Kaci Toomey, Nora McInerney, Martin Reidy, Mary Prendergast, Stephanie O’Brien, John Duggan plus husband and wife duo James and Deirdre McInerney.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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