Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox
So many people from all over the county attended the Sean Connolly’s OsKaRs that it is incumbent to write about the night.
Rural clubs in the GAA world are coming under so much pressure to stay afloat, it can be a daunting prospect.
Every part of the county was represented, in multiples.
We even had an actor from the Mullinalaghta team!
The project left a massive rush of goodwill in the parish of Clonbroney, thanks to those from within and outside the parish, who worked hard and showed incredible commitment.
We thank Kevin Rowe of KREvents, the event presenters who were superbly faultless. There was nothing they didn’t do, to make the Longford Arms feeling a special place, on the night.
Orlagh Reynolds, proprietor of the Longford Arms Hotel, had a huge influence on the project with her delivery of what was made seem an easy task, and silky smooth operation on the night.
Nothing that’s done well, is easy.
The date November 24, 2018, will maybe be remembered as the night that Sean Connolly’s finally got clear of debt, thanks to Longford county, and anytime that happens is a good day for any parish.
The harnessing of willing volunteers is the secret to any clubs success and in Ballinalee, that has been proved conclusively.
No club should ever feel that they too, cannot capture the imagination and magic of an imaginative event.
The OsKaRs ignited the community with an outbreak of inclusion, with entertainment to which people weren’t forced to go, but did, and many innovative nights that everyone attending seemed to enthusiastically enjoy. Again, and again, and again.
All sorts of events imaginable were run. Auctions, Fashion shows, cash for Clobber, a football blitz, a community run, a collection in Tesco, with fundraising nights far and wide - Kiernan’s Forge, McElvanney’s in Ballymore, Casey’s in Newtownforbes, barbeques, Sunday breakfasts, McGreals hunt, inventive raffles, a soccer tournament in Killoe, a fun run, music events, table quizzes .....the list is exhausting. Showing without doubt, that one doesn’t need any support from taxpayers funds, to raise good money.
Many former Connolly’s players, were more than happy when approached to contribute to the cause. An incredible amount of money was raised by many, some of whom didn’t even want their names publicized.
Sean Connolly’s feel great gratitude to the parish, and the county who rowed in behind them, to be part of the ultimate event.
Rural people in Ireland are just as ready and willing as anywhere else to dress up and attend something that is seen to be worthwhile, and also enjoyable.
Transparency is the key, when that’s present, nothing is impossible.
Longford has wonderful prospects for activity, but we must be prepared to do the work ourselves.
The county is awash with clever intelligent and willing people who just need to be asked and the results will be forthcoming.
The Longford OsKaRs, a wondrous project, and most enjoyable experience.