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Country Festival 2018

The Country Festival 2018 began on Thursday night July 12th, in the Diamond but due to other commitments I was unable to pay it a visit. However I hear that there was an excellent attendance and that Patrick Feeney was very good. The weather was excellent and helped to get the crowd out. Friday night was another good night weather wise and on stage was Jimmy Buckley, who once again gave a very polished performance and had the crowd rocking and rolling.
Saturday was a busy day on stage as the Special Olympians were honoured by a great reception. Sean McCaffrey was Master of Ceremonies and interviewed the various stars who came home with a great haul of medals after Personal Best performances. On stage with them was Minister Heather Humphreys, Conor McManus and Hannah Mooney, the Monaghan Rose, all of whom spoke and congratulated the Olympians and their coaches for the marvellous achievements of the Monaghan Special Olympics team. There was also plenty of good wishes passed to Conor and the Monaghan team for their battle in the first game of the Super 8's which is against Kildare. This was followed by Jiving competitions for Juveniles and Juniors and prizes were awarded. The big star for Saturday night was Michael English and he drew a huge crowd and he too had them rocking and rolling during his entire performance. I must also give mention to the man who was on before the main act and that is Gary Fitzpatrick and this is a name you will hear more of as he is a very talented singer and knows how to wrap the audience round his finger. Indeed the big demand for his DVD afterwards is an indication of his popularity and ability to entertain. I must also add that there were many strangers there and speaking to some of them I found that they had come from many neighbouring counties just to attend the Festival, which has now become a 'Talked About' event thoughout the country. The farthest part of the country from which I met a couple was Enniscorthy. Laura and Niall had travelled the journey and were booked into a Monaghan hotel and were enjoying the Festival and praised the excellent manner in which it is organised and run - so take a bow committee and stewards.

Sunday was another busy day with the adult Jiving competition beginning at 6pm with great music by Jim Devine and band. This was followed by Mike Denver. The jiving attracted a big entry and it was a very difficult task for the judge to come up with a 1, 2, 3. for the excellent prizes sponsored by Seamus McKenna, Car Sales. The winners, Dan Nelson and Louise McElvanna, received €500, 2nd, Lorcan Doherty and Claire Campbell, got €300 and 3rd, Aosling Doonan and Niall Bonner, got €200. The winner was also presented with the Willie McKenna Memorial Cup. A 4th prize was awarded to Elaine McCole and Joe Delaney. While Mike was performing the rain began and came down quite heavily, which forced a number to run for cover. It then dried up again and stayed dry until the last 5 minutes of his programme, when rain again forced a number to leave. However a big crowd ignored the weather and stayed to the end giving Mike a huge ovation. Mike is certainly a big big draw for the Monaghan festival.
A 'Well Done' to the organisers and helpers for a job well done.

Friday Night:

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Saturday Night ... HERE

Sunday Night .... HERE

Olympians .....   HERE