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Major success for the Majorettes

Liberties Majorettes

The Liberties Majorettes were triumphant at a competition in the Palmerstown Sports Complex on November 10th, taking home either 1st or 2nd place awards in each age group, which the exception of one 3rd place for Under 6s. The Under 12s won the overall team of the day, with Sophie Coughlan from the Under 10s scooping up the gong of dancer of the day.

The group was set up in the 1970s by a man named John Gallagher. It is now run by Siobhán O’Flaherty and Sinéad Freeman, who have both been members of the group for over thirty years. Freeman’s daughter, Megan Spooner, also teaches the group. 

It takes on girls from the age of two and a half, all the way up to 40. Out of their 70 members, most began training from a young age and have stuck with it throughout the years. Freeman said, “Some of the kids that are in it now, their parents danced in the Majorettes.”  O’Flaherty added, “We used to teach them and now we teach their kids!”

They focus on two elements, pom-poms and baton. Pom-poms routines are focused mostly on dancing and having fun, while baton is more about technical skill and precision. Freeman said, “The baton would be more serious, because they can drop it. You can get a lot more points taken off.”

The Liberties Majorettes don red costumes with silver details to the 6-8 competitions they do each year. They change costume designs every few years, as they want to keep things cost effective, like Gallagher did when the group started, to ensure that every girl in the area can join. “[He] set it up for people in the area who couldn’t afford to do other sports. We used to pay 50p to come. We’ve kept it like that,” O’Flaherty said. 

Majorettes is often a sport that goes unreported on, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important to the community around it. Both Freeman and O’Flaherty agreed that other than football, which is predominantly for boys, there’s nothing else in the area to keep children occupied. O’Flaherty said, “If they’re not here, they’re gonna be on the street. There’s not a place for them outside.”

The group meet every Monday and Tuesday in St. Brigid’s Primary School, The Coombe. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page at the Liberties Majorettes. 

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