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Arising to Lord and Lady challenge

Shannon Heritage entertainers David O Sullivan Glynn and Jennifer Roberts, front and Marie Hayes, back left, show competitors Martina McNamara, Cushla Hehir, Olivia King, Mary Murphy, Joe O’Gorman, Emmet O’Mahoney, John Torpey and Kearon Fox how to act like royalty at the launch of the Lord And Lady fundraising competition. Photograph by John Kelly

The race is on to find Kilkishen’s next Lord and Lady, as a very different election campaign sprang into action this week, which will see quirky fundraising events being organised by the hopeful contestants in aid of the Kikishen Church Restoration Project.

 

 

Shannon Heritage entertainers David O Sullivan Glynn and Jennifer Roberts, front and Marie Hayes, back left, show competitors Martina McNamara, Cushla Hehir, Olivia King, Mary Murphy, Joe O’Gorman, Emmet O’Mahoney, John Torpey and Kearon Fox how to act like royalty at the launch of the Lord And Lady fundraising competition. Photograph by John Kelly

The race is on to find Kilkishen’s next Lord and Lady, as a very different election campaign sprang into action this week, which will see quirky fundraising events being organised by the hopeful contestants in aid of the Kikishen Church Restoration Project.
Four groups of aspiring lords and ladies will now embark on their campaign trial and will be knocking their heads together to come up with some very different fundraising events to capture the imagination of the public and to pip the others at the post. 
They have from now until September to kick-start their fundraising efforts and the couple that raises the most for the restoration project within that timeframe will be appointed Lord and Lady at a special ceremony.
Most of the plans will be top secret for now, as the contestants get their ideas together. The events will be overseen by Patsy Neville of the Kilkishen Restoration Project to ensure there is no crossover of activities and each month the couple will have to return the funds raised to the restoration project.
The candidates are Joe O’Gorman from Cragg and Martina McNamara from Killanena Kilkishen; Kearon Fox of Dun an Oir and Mary Murphy of Main Street, Kilkishen; John Torpey of Belvoir and Olivia King of Cluain na Laoi and Emmet O’Mahony, Killanena Kilkishen and Cushla Hehir of Cluain na Laoi.
The competition is already heating up, as Cushla explains. “There will be some rivalry with it, probably more so with me and Martina McNamara because we’re both on the same camogie team and my camogie trainer is Joe O’Gorman, so there’ll be a bit of rivalry there”.
Cushla and Emmet have many options in mind for their events and while they are still in the planning stages, they’re keen to keep their thoughts secure from their competitors.
Speaking about the project, Cushla said, “It’s a great idea to restore the Protestant church because since I was a child it’s been a ruin in the village so at least now it’s going to be developed into something that the whole community can use.”
Meanwhile, Martina McNamara is looking forward to the months ahead and all that comes with it.
“It’ll be quite competitive but it’ll all be in good jest. It will be a funny, competitive rivalry,” she said.
She was happy to get on board because of the significance the church has for the village, having stood there for over 150 years.
“I’ve always said it would be nice if it was turned into something like a library or a garden centre so I think the project is very worthwhile in that the money is going towards renovating it and it will be worthwhile in the long run for the village,” she said.
Joe O’Gorman added that he is also looking forward to the event and said to have “a cultural area like this is very important for the community” and he hopes it will be put to use to give people a focal point and a location to hold activities. 
Hurley maker John Torpey is also looking forward to this new twist on the mayoral election fundraiser.
“We thought we would try something new, it’s a bit of a novelty really. Elizabeth Brady came up with the idea of Lord and Lady and it was decided it would be a bit of fun and we could organise our own events. We will do a range of different things, it will be up to everybody’s ingenuity and I would see everybody running different events like walks, quizzes, that kind of thing. Everyone will come up with different ideas and I will flying the flag for Belvoir,” he said.
Kearon and Mary also have high hopes for being named Lord and Lady of Kilkishen and are keeping their plans under wraps, for now.
Mary is living next door to the church and is anxious to help the cause and get the new centre up and running.
“I’m living only next door to it and I have young teenagers at home so I’m hoping it will be of benefit them in time, at the moment it is an eyesore so hopefully when this is finished it will be great asset to the community,” she concluded.

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