Results of Wexford's Singing and Swinging Pubs competition unveiled

By Amy Lewis

The Porter House in Castlebridge celebrate their win in the Variety category.
The Porter House in Castlebridge celebrate their win in the Variety category.
Swinging winners Culleton's are presented with their cup.
The Talbot Hotel cast receive their cup as winners in the Singing section.

Several weeks of swinging and singing came to a close last week as the winners of this year's Guinness Singing and Swinging Pubs were unveiled to the masses.

First place in the singing section went to the Talbot Hotel, followed by the Ferrycarrig Hotel in second and Macken's (The Cape) in third. Tony Carty from the Ferrycarrig Hotel won over the judges with his vocals and scooped the award for Best Male. Dave Clarke from The Loch and Quay and Alan Reck from The Talbot Hotel were nominees in the category.

Meanwhile, Helena Bates from The Talbot took home the prize for Best Female. Lorna Mahon Wall and Denise McCauley from The Ferrycarrig were nominees in the same category.

Culleton's Bar swung some success in the contest, picking up first place in the Swinging Section. Second place went to the Gaelic Bar and third to The Foggy Dew Inn. Paul Rossiter from Culleton's picked up the award for Best Male. James Bierney from The Foggy Dew Inn and Paddy Davitt from Culleton's Bar were nominees.

Lauren Hayes from Culleton's Bar saw her efforts pay off when she was named Best Female in the Swinging Section. Katherine Miller from The Foggy Dew Inn and Anna Thompson from Culleton's Bar were nominees.

The Porter House were proud to take home first prize in the Variety Section, with The Merry Elf close behind in second place. Winner of The Fergie Kehoe Best Male award in the section was Jim Boyce from The Porter House, beating nominee Hamish Stuart from The Merry Elf to the prize. Best Female in the Variety Section was won by Katie Wright of The Merry Elf, while Brid Carey of The Porter House was a nominee. The Sky and the Ground picked up the Ger Gaynor Cup in the Traditional Style Section, with Mary Jo's in second place and Ye Old Cooper's Inn in third. Best male in the section was Stephen Cullen of Mary Jo's Bar who beat nominees Niall Lacey from The Sky and The Ground and Tom Furlong from Ye Olde Cooper's Inn. Meanwhile, Tash Hogarth of Mary Jo's Bar was the proud winner of the Best Female award in the same category. She beat nominees Katie Martin of Gaynor's Bar and Kathy Bergin of Billy Kelly's.

ALong with the main awards, there were a variety of other awards given on results night. The Michael Rossiter Best Group Award went to Culleton's, with The Gaelic Bar and The Talbot Hotel as nominees. The Joss Kielty Best Instrumentalist Award went to Paul Doyle from The Sky and The Ground, who beat off nominees Eva Murphy of Kelly's and Shelly O'Grady of Mary Jo's.

Winner of the Nan Cullimore Best Senior Citizen Award went to Finn Kelly of Ye Olde Cooper's Inn. Peader Dempsey of The Merry Elf and Johnny Thomas of McGee's impressed as nominees.

Best Musician was named as John Cullen from The Pike, while Ollie Dempsey from the Lock and Quay and Tony Ryan from The Ferrycarrig Hotel were nominees.

The Sky and The Ground took home The Shem Berry Best Traditional Act Award. John Cullen from The Pike scored for his original performance and took home the prize of Best Original Act. Kerdoc Murphy of The Sky And the Ground and Rob Moss from The Wexford Arms were nominees.

Lots of laughs were certainly had during the competition and Best Comic Act went to The Muppets, performed by The Porter House. Imelda Kehoe and John Wright of The Merry Elf and Michelle Dooley Mahon were rated highly as nominees.

Michelle Dooley Mahon did pick up the prize for Best Master of Ceremonies, while John 'Bat' Murphy of McGee's and Declan Breslin from The Foggy Dew Inn came in close behind as nominees.

Best Decorated Pub went to The Gaelic Bar, while Noel Murphy was named the Best Bar Person. Jimmy Kelly from The Sailing Cot and Brian Kavanagh from The Sky and the Ground got honourable mentions as nominees.

The Gaelic Bar pulled in yet another prize when they were won the Best Programme award. Best Audience Participation Award went to The Loch and Quay.

The Con Redmond Outstanding Performance Award is a much sought-after prize and this year, it was taken home by Helena Bates. Adjudicators Awards went to The Gaelic Bar and Mary Jo's. Finally, Special Guinness Mid-Strength Awards went to Mary's Bar (1916 theme), Shane Dunphy from The Sky and The Ground, Julie Dwyer of The Wexford Arms and Jason and James O'Connor from Macken's.

This year, 28 pubs signed up to take part in the competition but following some cancellations, 24 competed.

The John Barry was forced to pull out of the contest following its closure while The Crown Bar, The Mocking Monck and T Morris also decided not to take part. Brian Cantwell from Diageo said that sometimes, participants are forced to cancel if they don't have enough musicians but said that this didn't take away from an overall great competition.

Wexford People