Last year’s Bard winner, Sean McCormack was hospitalised and was unable to attend, but he had an able deputy in Virginia man, Patsy McDermott, whose rendition of ‘Drunken Dream’ at short notice was magnificent and came in a strong second.
The overall standard was truly impressive, with the scale of laughter reaching the highest of heights during the entire evening. Central to everything as usual was the brilliant MC Pearse McBride, who kept the laughter juices flowing freely with his relaxed and ever witty style between the recitations.
The evening began with the presentation of the Gerry Watters Hall of Fame award to Roslea man Seamus Carolan, who enthralled the audience with his winner of 2000, ‘The Pope Returns to Ireland Incognito’.
Briege Murphy won ‘The Rosemary Twohig’ award as the ‘best female bard’. Rob Barrat, from Cornwall, really charmed everyone with ‘Distressed’ and the irrepressible and indomitable Jimmy Rafferty knows how to turn it on with yet another epic yarn ‘Confessions of a Leprecaun’.
Included too in the top five was Brookeborough’s Damien McGirr, who abandoned the notes and recited his poem ‘Cavalier Knights’ with perfect accuracy and fluency.
The highlights of the 2012 and 2013 Bard finals will feature on a new CD ‘Rise to the Bardic Gathering’ hitting the market very soon, in time for the Christmas market.