Finding the school X factor in Abbeyleix

SCOIL Mhuire in Abbeyleix was alive with music recently for the first annual School Factor. Five local schools were represented in the competition including Scoil Mhuire, Abbeyleix, Scoil Fintin Naofa, Ballyroan, Scoil Bhríde, Ballyroan, Abbeyleix South School and Knock National School.

SCOIL Mhuire in Abbeyleix was alive with music recently for the first annual School Factor. Five local schools were represented in the competition including Scoil Mhuire, Abbeyleix, Scoil Fintin Naofa, Ballyroan, Scoil Bhríde, Ballyroan, Abbeyleix South School and Knock National School.

Three acts from each school took to the stage to impress the independent judges Damien Bowe, Peter Coe and Claire Johnston. Representing Knock were comedian Liam Kehoe; singers Sharon Stratford and Katelyn O’Dea and guitarist Conor Fitzpatrick. Scoil Fintan Naofa was represented by trad musicians The Bally Boys; Lewis Churchouse, Enda Dunne and Paudie MacDonald; and dancing group The Bally Rockers.

The ladies from Ballyroan’s Scoil Bhríde kept standards high with singer Isobel Churchouse, musicians Amy Fitzpatrick and Sarah McMahon and gymnast Michelle Baikulova. Abbeyleix South School didn’t disappoint either with Daisy Jay reciting poetry; singer Elizabeth Harding self-taught music maestro Reuben Harvey. Representing Scoil Mhuire were singer Claudia Creegan and Ian Delaney and The School Boys.

After all of the acts had performed it was time for the judges to deliberate, as well as counting audience votes. Scoil Mhuire principal Aidan McEvoy gave the results. In third place was Ian Delaney of Scoil Mhuire, in second place was Liam Kehoe of Knock, and in first place was ‘The School Boys’ of Scoil Mhuire. The judges also awarded a special ‘Judge’s Choice’ prize to Reuben Harvey.

Even though there could only be a set number of prizes given, all of the children were fantastic on the night. Scoil Mhuire was delighted with the turnout on the night and hope that even more schools will return to compete next year. The Board of Management of Scoil Mhuire Abbeyleix wants to thank all who came and supported the event, from buying tickets, providing home baking and preparing the acts in the show. Everyone who had a part to play in presenting the evening was appreciated and are all partly responsible for the great success of ‘The School Factor’.