The Bunbrosna Set Dancing team after they were presented with their trophy at the All Ireland Scór final on Saturday. Back row, l-r, Pat Teehan (Cathaoirleach Leinster GAA), Robbie Wilson, Thomas Murray (Cathaoirleach Coiste Scor Naisiunta), Seamus Moran, Eoin Clarke, John Murphy (Cathaoirleach Connacht GAA) and Kenny Murphy. Front row, Sandra Eades, Veronica Moran, Orla Clearly and Susan Lambden.

Bunbrosna's set dancers win another All Ireland Scór title

Saturday 20 November 2021 is yet another date that will marked down with great pride in the history books for both Bunbrosna and Westmeath GAA. After a wait of almost 19 months the All Ireland Final of Scór Sinsir 2020 was held and this year’s venue was the magnificent Connacht Centre of Excellence Air Dome located outside Ballyhaunis in Country Mayo. This was the first event to be staged in the newly constructed, and largest venue of its type in the world, so history was centrally in the making for the day ahead.

Westmeath had a single competitor in the All-Ireland, being the set dancers from Bunbrosna. Hopes were still high, however, across the Westmeath fans gathered in the Air Dome, as this hugely experienced and successful team know how to perform on big occasions and, importantly, win All-Ireland titles.

Bun’s path to victory

As always the set-dancing competition was the last event in a hugely entertaining Clar. After a long wait and the musicians prepared to go, we were all ready for the four set dancing teams to take to the stage in what is one of the most popular events in Scór. First out were the Ulster champions from St Mary’s Killyclogher, County Tyrone who gave a very lively performance of the Cavan Reel Set. This is an experienced Tyrone group having competed in a number of All Irelands so they set the bar very high for the competition ahead. The second group on stage were JK Brackens from Tipperary. This young team gave a very polished performance of the Plain Set. Munster has always been a set dancing strong-hold and the JK Bracken club have been successful in this competition in the past, with two previous All Ireland titles to their name.

The Connacht champions were third to take to the stage, with the Elphin club from Roscommon carrying the flag. This is another club that has great set dancing pedigree and the young group gave an excellent performance of the Plain Set. Having watched all three performances the Westmeath supporters knew that Bun were going to have to deliver an outstanding performance to take this year’s title.

After a long evening's wait Bunbrosna were finally announced to the stage as the final performers of the night and to bring the curtain down on the 2020 Scór season. Orla Clearly, Susan Lambden, Sandra Eades, Veronica Moran, Kenny Murphy, Eoin Clarke, Seamus Moran and super sub Robbie Wilson marched onto the stage with a pride and confidence. Bun meant business and were going to be a force to be reckoned with! Dancing the Claddagh Set once the music and these eight talented individuals started moving we knew something special was in the making. In what was a faultless performance, the Westmeath fans took to their feet at the end of the group’s performance filled with hope that an All-Ireland was firmly in sight.

The wait for the results, as always, seemed like an eternity but when the brilliant Bean an Ti for the night Aileen Kennedy finally announced that the set dancing winners for 2020 were the Leinster and Westmeath champions of Bunbrosna the celebrations could finally begin.

Three All-Ireland Titles

Winning any All-Ireland title takes a huge amount of time, commitment success, disappointments etc. the list can and those go on. For the Bunbrosna club they can proudly say that they now hold three such titles in the set-dancing competition. This is an outstanding record for any club and certainly doesn’t happen by accident. This group have to be highly commended as year in year out they take to the stage in Westmeath Scór and whether they are successful at county, provincial or All-Ireland level they keep at it, keep coming back and the result of this determination did bear fruit in the achievements on Saturday night in Mayo.

While each and every single member of this group are hugely talented and truly deserve the silverware, a special mention has to go to three particular individuals; Kenny Murphy, Susan Lambden and Sandra Eades, who can proudly say that they are now the holder of all three All Ireland medals that the club have achieved. It is interesting to note that Bunbrosna have now tasted success in three different provinces, having won their first All-Ireland in Belfast in 2000, their second in Kerry in 2016 and now their third in Mayo for 2020. A fourth in a Leinster venue would have a nice ring to it as well!

I mentioned earlier about Bun having a super sub, Robbie Wilson, on the night who is no stranger to the stage. Unfortunately Christopher McCormack was unable to compete but I am sure he was at home watching it and wishing that he was on that stage. Christopher has been a back-bone of this team for years and deserves this All-Ireland title.

It is difficult to sum up such a successful and emotional night for the group. But on leaving the hall a remark from a very proud mother of two of the dancers seems quite appropriate, when she said: “For a small little area aren’t we mighty,” and mighty is a fitting and deserving title for this group.

From all in Westmeath Scór, we send our heartfelt congratulations to Bunbronsa. After the past 18 months a lift was certainly needed and this win certainly gave it to the Westmeath crowd on Saturday.

Other winners on the night

As mentioned above, this year’s All-Ireland was highly entertaining affair with some wonderful performances in each of the competitions. Leinster had a hugely successful night taking home five of the eight titles. This shows the talent that is developing in the Leinster region and hopefully this growth continues. For the record the below is a list of the 2020 All-Ireland Champions:

Rince Foirne: Newcastle, Tipperary

Amhranaiocht Aonair: Jack Gladney, Noamh Moling, Carlow

Ceol Uirlise: Kilcavan, Laois

Aithriseoireacht / Scealaiocht: Noel Joyce, JK Brackens, Tipperary

Nuachleas: Newport, Tipperary

Bailead-Ghrupa: Ferbane, Offaly

Rince Seit: Bunbrosna, Westmeath

Trath Na gCeisteanna: Edenderry, Offaly