Banríon Gaels Camogie Club conducted a virtual bake-off competition recently which saw the "hardest working ladies in the parish", as they are fondly referred to, swap their hurls for wooden spoons to give back to people in their community.
The virtual Bake Off initiative was designed to give back to the wider community and to raise awareness of their local camogie club. Their brief was to bake a cake or buns and donate to a front line worker, a relative or neighbour who is cocooning, a shopkeeper or whoever they chose to in the community.
In total, 18 premises were visited including the workers at the Odlums factory, the Fire Station, Primary Care Centre, the Parish Priest, the Credit Union and many shops. Plenty of front line workers featured, as did many grandparents, while not forgetting the two local postmen.
The response was huge with all types of creations being baked. A photo of the cakes and buns was sent to the judge, Killenard native and Banríon Gaels mentor, Julie Anne Behan, co-author of cookery book "Now you're cooking".
A teacher of Home Economics in Portlaoise College, Julie commented, "The high standard of baking from our young girls was very impressive though next time I'm making sure there is a taste test, virtual bakes are not as delicious for the judge!"
The winners were sisters Carina and Ella O’Hanlon who play on the Club’s U-14 and U-10 teams respectively. They made a variety of buns and donated to neighbours. As a prize the girls will receive a signed copy of Now you're Cooking.
In second place was Alison Brady, third place was Ava Beth Howlin and a special prize for technical difficulty went to Hannah O’Donnell for her cinnamon rolls. All the girls will receive a club t-shirt in recognition of their efforts.
"The virtual bake-off was the Club's initiative for saying thanks to the community of Portarlington, Killenard, Gracefield and Emo for their support throughout the years," explained the Club’s Communications Officer, Rena Killeen.
The bake-off fostered some friendly competition among the players and people of the community certainly benefited from receiving the treats. Banríon Gaels is almost seven years established and is the youngest Camogie Club in Laois. They field teams from U-8 to U-16 level and have had success winning the Laois Shield Final at U-12 in 2018 and 2019.