02 Jul 2022

Large crowds descend upon Emo Court for hugely successful Shine 2022

The inaugural Shine event took place on Saturday 21st May, attracting a crowd of nearly 5,000 people to the beautiful grounds of Emo Court and Parklands.

The exciting sporting event attracted a crowd of eager spectators, with lots of thrills and cheers of support for those competing. Each team was tasked with several challenges and obstacles as a test of fitness and strength.

Following a demanding day of physically demanding timed elements, which culminated with the Grand Final, Emo GAA were crowned ‘Ireland’s Fittest Team’, claiming the top prize of €6,000 of the total €10,000 prize fund.

The winning Emo GAA team members were Darren Strong (Captain), Stephen Norton, Jack Setright, Emma Lawlor, Niamh Crowley and Shane Murphy.

West Waterford based Tallow GAA took second place, with Kilmacud Crokes GAA from Stillorgan in Dublin taking third place in the event.

Following the prize giving, John Strong, Chairperson of the Shine Committee, said:

“Shine in Emo 2022 has been a phenomenal success. We had planned this event for the summer of 2020 but had to cancel twice due to Covid, so we are thrilled to be here today.

"I can’t emphasise enough the power of cooperation, with Shine bringing together Government bodies, Laois Chamber, local businesses, numerous generous sponsors, competitors from across the country, Emo GAA, and our fantastic team of over 80 volunteers. I would like thank everybody involved.”

John Kirwan, Chairperson of Emo GAA added: “On behalf of Ema GAA, I would like to thank everyone involved in today’s event. The Shine Committee and volunteers have worked very hard to make this event possible, and we are extremely grateful for their efforts. Thanks to the amazing support of our sponsors, we were able to keep admission to the event free and Shine has certainly proved to be a great family day out for everyone.”

Martin Crowley of Emo GAA and Laois Chamber added: “We are overwhelmed with the success of Shine in Emo. It has taken a lot of hard work and I would like to thank everyone involved in bringing it to fruition. It is absolutely brilliant to see the worlds of sport, business and tourism coming together in this landmark event.

"We are delighted to have collaborated with Laois Chamber and the OPW to stage this one-day extravaganza which showcases the very best of Laois, and we truly couldn’t have asked for a better venue than Emo Court and Parklands.”

Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan T.D., also visited the event and launched a suite of new visitor facilities on the day. These facilities are key in enabling visitors to enjoy both large-scale family events like Shine and more intimate cultural events from this season onwards.

Surrounding the main sporting arena with the backdrop of Emo Court House, there were a number of activities for all of the family. Dunamaise Arts Centre organised a number of musicians and artists performing throughout the day, with children’s amusements, nearly 20 food stalls with everything from crepes to burritos, as well as over 120 businesses exhibiting in the trade show area located around the main arena. Attendees could also walk around the grounds of Emo Court, visiting the lake and taking in the endless scenic walks.

It is envisaged that Shine in Emo will become an annual fixture on the Laois festival calendar.

Speaking following the event, Caroline Hofman, CEO of Laois Chamber, said: “We are delighted to have collaborated with Emo GAA for this amazing event, that has well and truly put Laois on the map as a fantastic to live, work and do business. Shine 2022 showcased the best of our small and large Laois businesses, as well as food and crafts, with each and every exhibitor being a Laois-based business.

"Following the success of the inaugural event, we are already looking forward to the 2023 event! Shine is sure to be a jewel in the crown of Laois events and festivals.”

President of Laois Chamber, Alison Browne, added: “Huge credit to Emo GAA, Martin Crowley, John Strong  and Caroline Hofman from Laois Chamber for delivering what was a fabulous day out in Emo Court.  

"Shine has put the spotlight on the best that Laois has to offer. Mixing business with pleasure has never been so enjoyable and Emo Court has been revealed as a perfect fit to hold large events of this kind. It’s the coming together of all parts of our Laois community that has made this day so special and it shows what can be achieved when people work together.”


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