Cornafean’s Paddy receives deserved Gradam award
When Scór was first mentioned at a GAA club meeting in Cornafean hall in the autumn of 1970, no one had heard of it before. Undeterred the club decided to take part in the competition that was being organised in Cavan. People who had danced in the same hall at céilíes in the 1950s were contacted and a four-hand reel was resurrected.
A teacher in the area was asked to recite and another young teacher by the name of Paddy McDermott who had recently returned from a stint teaching in Africa, was recruited to play the tin whistle. This was the beginning of Paddy’s involvement in Scór and he has been involved both as a competitor and organiser at club, county, provincial and national level ever since.
Through Paddy’s love of music, particularly Irish music and his special understanding of young people he has developed a lasting rapport with the youth of Cornafean and created in them an appreciation of Irish music and a unique skill in its performance. He formed the Cornafean Céilí Group in 1978 principally to take part in grupaí ceoil competitions in fleadhanna and Scór. Members of the youth band were hand-picked and coached in the fine art of traditional playing and prepared for the purpose of competing at the highest level. The Group took part in many All Ireland fleadh cheoil finals and made numerous TV and radio appearances.
They also visited Bavaria, in southern Germany on three different occasions. They recorded three tapes all under Paddy’s leadership with the proceeds going to Cornafean GAA. In 1979 Paddy was elected cathaoirleach Coiste Scór an Chabháin, a position he held until December 2015. He has watched Scór grow and develop through peaks and troughs. He was present on every occasion when Cavan clubs won county, provincial and All-Irelands titles and he has shared in the joy and excitement these victories brought to families, clubs and communities.
He has also been present to console and commiserate with clubs and individuals who suffered the heartbreak of narrow defeats and close calls after brilliant performances. Supporters and competitors have enjoyed countless nights of entertainment through Scór and Paddy can take a lot of the credit for the numerous victories achieved by Cavan clubs. Many people in Cornafean and Cavan owe him an immense debt of gratitude.
Nowadays Paddy is as committed and as active in Scór as he was when he first took up the tin whistle in the inaugural competition in Cavan in 1970. On any night during the Scór season he could be in Leinster acting as quiz master or on another night in Connacht adjudicating on different disciplines at a Scór competition. Alternatively he could be back home in Cornafean organising and motivating the next generation of young people to take to the stage with the same enthusiasm as when he first took part himself in 1970.
Tá an gradam seo in onóir do sheirbhís fhada tuillte go mór ag Pádraig Mac Diarmada. Comhghairdeas a Phádraig.