What is Scor and when did it start?
By Muiris O’ Hallachain.
Scor is a winter social activity organised by the GAA and founded by Derry Gowen of Fermoy in 1969.
However, though in theory organised by the GAA and run under the general rules of the same, it has it’s own organisation and steering committees in each parish, county and province.
The competitions commence at club level and go on to divisional, county, provincial and national level each year. Seamus McGrath who hails from our neighbouring parish, Newcastle has been deeply involved in Scor all his life, being a competitor for many years and winning All-Ireland’s on two occasions with his own club in senior set dancing.
For a parish like Sliabh gCua, so steeped in culture, Scor to my mind was a great outlet for this abundance of talent and tradition. Our club firstly became involved in the competitions in 1971, when four dancers from the parish having been successful in the first organised county final in the CBS hall travelled to the Munster Semi final, which was held in the youth centre in Mallow. However, even though unsuccessful on this occasion and on a suggestion from Tommy Hickey, it was agreed on the way home to organise and enter a set in the competition on the following year. The four dancers on the occasion were Margaret Whelan, Maeve Butler, Michael Hickey, and Richard Hickey.
Sliabh gCua thus entered their first set in Scor in 1972. The team which were as follows: Winnie Hallinan, Peg Dalton, Alice Burke, Breda Hallahan, Thomas Hickey, John Kearns, Ned Burke and Maurice Dalton, organised their first get-together in the hall in September 1971 and danced in their first competition in Lawlors Hotel in October of the same year. The late Ned Parker R.I.P., was also a member of the original group and the music on the first night was supplied by Bernie Power.
Much credit is indeed due to the above group, who paved the way for many successes that followed for Sliabh gCua in the Scor and Scor na nOg competitions. The team who were joined by musicians – Biddy Nugent, Thos. O’ Donoghue, Jim Cliffe won a memorable county final in Clonea in front of a capacity crowd, then won the Munster final in Drumkeen and captured the first All-Ireland for Sliabh gCua in Ballsbridge, Dublin in March 1972.
The group were shortly after joined by Bob Keane and in recent times Michael McKenna, Kieran McCabe and Sean Brien.
Winning was and is important for any club or county but it is definitely not everything. Preserving our cultures and traditions is as important to any club and parish as winning county and national titles. If we lose pride in our games, our dancing and our music, then we cease to be a whole.
Many dancers, singers and musicians such as Thos, Bob and Biddy have held the flag high for Sliabh gCua over the years and have proved that where there is a love of what you do and what you are and a determination to show this there will be success and most of all, enjoyment and contentment.