This Saturday all roads lead to the Irish National Events Centre Killarney Co. Kerry where Eglish Novelty Act hopes to be crowned All-Ireland Champions. Every year each of the Scor categories are keenly contested within Tyrone and this year was no different with more clubs participating than had ever competed before. One club that always puts a strong emphasis in both Junior and Senior Scor on an annual basis is Eglish St. Patrick’s. Within Tyrone Eglish has a record in Scor which is the envy of many.
Over the years Eglish has proved to be specialists in the Novelty Act category and on Saturday a cast from the St. Patrick’s club will be Tyrone’s sole representatives in the All Ireland Final. Since claiming their first Tyrone Novelty Act Title back in 1981 Eglish leads the role of honour within this category in Tyrone with a massive 13 Junior titles and 11 Senior titles. A further eight Ulster titles have been secured with six at Senior level and two at Junior level.
From those eight Ulster titles Eglish have gone on to represent both county and province in the All Ireland Final on each occasion. It is a proud fact that Eglish have been crowned All Ireland Champions on three occasions as they claimed All Ireland titles in Junior in 1989 and 2005, and at Senior level in 1989. The successes in 1989 are unique in that Eglish won both titles in the same year. Further to that success in 1989 they also won the All Ireland Readoiri Novelty Act event organised by the PTAA.
With all the aforementioned successes there is one man that has been the backbone to each and every success. Jim Daly has been instrumental in bringing Eglish’s name to the forefront of Scor. Over the years Jim has written many sketches and played many varying parts. The Senior All Ireland winning act of 1989 entitled “Heading Home To Ireland” and the Junior All Ireland winning sketches “The Charlie Chaplin Mime” (1989) and “ A Day On The Road, Somewhere In Ireland” (2005) are fondly remembered by all who seen them. Another famous sketch by Jim was “The First Irish Man On The Moon” which many thought was unlucky not to win an All Ireland.
Jim remembers how he first got involved in Novelty Acts when the late Patsy Jones called with him one Friday night and asked him would he organise an act for the upcoming Scor. The first act that Jim took to the stage with was entitled “The Housing Executive”. Thirty years on his enthusiasm and desire is still as strong and prevalent. From performing in All Ireland Finals in such venues as the Ulster Hall in Belfast, The Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, Millstreet in Cork, the INEC in Killarney can now be added to the CV.
Jim has had many good colleagues on stage and assisting in the background over the years and has managed to get the best from everyone’s talents. He is ably assisted in the current act by Corey Murtagh, Angela McGrath, Paul Muldoon, Seamus Donnelly, Ciaran Donnelly and Eileen Daly. This year’s act is entitled “I Don’t Believe It”. The topical novelty act is based on the robbery of a cash machine with the modern day technique of using a digger! A lot of hard work has gone into the act and it is definitely a crowd pleaser. A couple of ‘likely’ thieves who have turned their sights to robbing bank machines, but like all good novelty acts things never go quite according to plan!
We wish all involved the best of luck this weekend and have no doubt that Eglish will do Tyrone proud in the All Ireland Final.