Easter Sunday’s Strictly Come Dancing night at The Heritage Hotel in Killenard was Portarlington RFC’s most ambitious fundraising event to date.
This hugely anticipated show required 10 weeks of training, rehearsals, planning and coordination and the result was what hotel management called “the biggest event ever held in The Heritage”.
Club President Padraig Maree was clearly delighted with the response from the public saying “we have all worked exceptionally hard to put on a hugely entertaining show but at the end of the day this is a fundraising event and its success depended entirely on the generosity of our sponsors and of course everyone who bought a ticket and added to the electric atmosphere on the night. I am stunned at the size of the crowd and in awe of the hard work put in by all of our dancers”.
Over 700 people turned up to see the 16 couples performing various different dances as well as a display of Irish Dancing from a local school of dance and a stirring performance of The Hakka from Portarlington RFC’s u17 squad. The couples were made up of men and women from the rugby club as well as other local sports clubs, businesses and organisations. The event was sponsored by local companies including main sponsor Ladbrokes.
From the get go the crowd was really up for a great night’s entertainment with each dance being greeted by cheers and rapturous applause that added hugely to the excitement.
When all of the dances were finished and judges comments had been absorbed the huge crowd went about the task of voting for their winners. All 16 acts joined M.C Peter McEvoy on stage as he read out the results of the voting……”and the winners are.....Joe Dwyer and Ashling O Neill”.
When asked about their experience Joe and Ashling said “we still can’t believe that the audience chose us. We are so proud, not just of ourselves but of every couple who practiced so hard for tonight.”