On Sunday afternoon last, Iontas, Castleblayney came alive to the sound of music and dance, performed by a host of multinationals who now live in the Castleblayney, Carrickmacross and Ballybay areas of Co. Monaghan.
Women, men and children from the countries of Brazil, China, Congo, Egypt, Hungry, India, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia and Sri Lanka represented their countries.
Each country present had brought along a selection of their country’s traditional food. Our Lady’s Secondary School Traditional Irish musicians entertained the crowd while they sampled the wonderful international selection. Local artists from China and Poland displayed their beautiful art work. Traditional dress was also worn, which made the afternoon one of the most colourful ever held in Castleblayney.
The afternoon’s entertainment commenced with pupils from nine nationalities, who attend Scoil Na gCailini, Castleblayney. They sang a group song, followed by soloists from China and Latvia and groups who entertained with Polish and Irish dancing.
Further performances included traditional Irish music, hip-hop dancing groups, World Champion line dancers, Indian and Congolese dances. Superintendent Alan Cunningham, Carrickmacross played the accordion and Gardai Frances and Pat Merrick performed a Salsa dance.
Councillors from Castleblayney and Carrickmacross who attended complimented the Gardai and deemed the afternoon a fantastic success.
Superintendent Alan Cunningham stated that such an event was a marvellous opportunity to acknowledge, share and celebrate the diversity that now exists within the local community. He also went on to say that it was the role of the Gardai to serve all persons in society irrespective of their culture and encouraged all those present to engage with their local Gardai and seek their assistance when required.
He congratulated Garda Frances Merrick, Castleblayney and Garda Caroline Leonard, Carrickmacross who organised the event and were assisted on the day by Sgt. Ken Coughlan, Garda Pat Merrick and Garda Tracy Donaghy, Annmarie McHugh and students from Our Lady’s Secondary School and Castleblayney College.