The Muckno singers opened the evening with a magnificent rendition of “A Beautiful Day” by U2.

Martin Quinn Chairperson welcomed everyone and went on to extend a very warm welcome on behalf of the Board of Management and the Staff of Blayney Blades to Bishop Larry Duffy Bishop of Clogher, to the Clergy, To Minister Heather Humphreys, Guests, Friends, Members, Mercy Sisters, our Funders, Muckno Singers’ the musical director Tara Mc Auley and Tommy McGuire our MC for the evening.

Martina was delighted that so many had come to join us on our very special celebration of 25 years which began back in 1995 in the parish centre. Looking around the room she recognised so many familiar faces. The many volunteers who have travelled the journey with us and who have had a huge influence and contributed their time so freely over the years.

Blayney Blades would like to recognise and acknowledge that we as a group have empowered encouraged and enabled women of all ages to live a fuller life through education health and wellbeing.

Martina went on to say “So celebrate with us tonight as we move forward to our next 25 years and make Sr. Celine’s Vision - Our Vision.”

Martina invited Rose Roche to light the candle for our deceased members and absent friends and Rose Laverty to light the second Candle for those who are sick and all our special intentions.

Tommy welcomed Minister Heather Humphreys to say a few words. Minister Humphreys spoke highly of the work that Sr Celine and Blayney Blades have done over the years. The Minister mentioned that on the passing of Sr Celine there was a huge void left but Blayney Blades have continued her legacy and it has grown from strength to strength over the years.  The Minister went on to thank Lorraine the Co-ordinator, Olive Bolger the previous Co-ordinator, the Board of Management and all the volunteers who welcome everyone who engages with them in an open and inclusive manner, while promoting equality, social justice and respect.

Tommy then introduced Noeline O’ Neill who is one of the founder members. Noeline went on to talk about the humble beginnings and the early days of Blayney Blades while working out of the Parish Centre. Noeline spoke about the many visions Sr Celine had and how she never shied away from the many challenges and obstacles that could have prevented her from fulfilling her many dreams and visions.

Tommy then called on Bishop Larry Duffy, Bishop of Clogher to say Grace before the meal was served.

After a beautiful meal the Muckno singers took to the stage once again with a lovely number from ColdPlay “Rule the World”.

Tommy then invited Mary Smith, a director of Blayney Blades to talk about the ongoing work of Blades. Mary spoke about the importance of our Funders who have enabled Blayney Blades to deliver training and education to the women and their families. For example, the National Collective of Community Based Women’s Networks, our good friends the Sisters of Mercy, the OWL Project, PEACE FUNDING which allowed us to build friendships on both sides of the border which otherwise would never have materialised, Monaghan County Council, Age & Opportunity, Department of Community Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs, Department Of Justice and Equality, Muckno Donaghmoyne Community Services, CMETB and Tusla. Mary also went to congratulate Blayney Blades on the many awards we have won over the years.

Tommy then invited Sr Rose Marie Conlon to say a few words about Sr Celine. Sr Rose Marie eloquently spoke about the support that Sr Celine received from the Sisters of Mercy to enable her to deliver her vision and foresight for women and their families in the wider community.  Sr Rose Marie also spoke about the wonder and awe of the Iontas building, the legacy which Sr Celine has left and which is a huge testament to her commitment, dedication and unstoppable ambition to make her vision a reality.

Sr Rose Marie then unveiled a plaque which is dedicated to the memory of Sr Celine and invited the Board of Management and staff of Blades to join her.  

Muckno Singers then sang “You’re The Voice” by John Farnham.

Tommy then invited Lorraine Cunningham Co-ordinator who went on to thank Mona Mc Entee’s and her team who provided beautiful food on the evening. Lorraine also thanked Darren MC Quillan and all his staff in Iontas who we work with on a daily basis and make all our courses, workshops, seminars and any other events for example this evening we host as seamless as possible.

Lorraine expressed her sincere appreciation to all the guests who took the time out to celebrate with us on the night. Darina Kelly who baked our beautiful cake. Claire and Liam Mc Elory who designed the beautiful plaque in memory of Sr Celine. The Sisters of Mercy who still continue to support Blayney Blades on a daily basis and enabled Sr. Celine to deliver on her great foresight and vision to build this amazing community centre.

To our ladies who without you there would be no point to Blayney Blades you make it all very worthwhile. You come winter, summer and all year round to our weekly classes and support us on an ongoing basis while enabling the Blayney Blades to keep evolving.

The ladies who travel on our mystery tours, our annual trips away which are usually booked up very quickly and have become extremely popular.

Lorraine thanked our extremely hard working Board of Management Martina Quinn, Noeline O’ Neill, Mary Smith Rose Roche, Mary Mc Ardle and Loretta Patlaba for their extremely hard work and ongoing support. Lorraine thanked the girls in the office Eimear, Karolina, Fiona and Margaret who on a daily basis give 150% they never quibble when it's time to go home as some days that never happens on time. It is my greatest honour and gratitude to be able to call you my friends rather than work colleagues as I think we make a brilliant team so thank you for all you do way over and above.