THEY may not have possessed Usain Bolt’s speed or technique in the 100 metres sprint, but all eyes in Ardpatrick were on the array of plastic yellow ducks navigating the Noneen River on Sunday afternoon.
With a prize of €100 up for grabs, the locals turned out in their numbers at the bridge in the village to welcome home the winning duck.
The fundraising race which raised €395 in aid of the local Tidy Towns initiative was just one of a number of events to take place in the village during the weekend’s Na Fianna Festival.
“We had cards with numbers up to about 250 and we sold the lines for €3 each or two for a fiver. Each duck corresponded to a number on the card. We threw them in at the top of the field and they flowed down the river and there was a big crowd waiting to see who won,” explained David O’Sullivan, chairman of the Ardpatrick Na Fianna Festival.
The first duck under the bridge was owned by the local church sacristan, Mary Murphy.
And it was a lucky weekend for Mary who also got to spin the wheel at the Winning Streak evening earning herself €600 in the process.
“The festival went very well. We had a great turnout every night. People were saying it was possibly the best festival yet since it started 14 years ago,” said David.
Another highlight of the festival was the afternoon tea party in the Greenwood Inn on Sunday which saw the fine china dusted off and shined up for the occasion.
“They had the triangular sandwiches and everything. There was a great turnout with people calling in after the bingo to sample the refreshments. People gave a donation. We got a great response to that as well,” said David.
On Friday night, the Alternative Niamh of ná Fianna charity pageant took place in the Greenwood Inn.
The coveted title was claimed by Neil Hennessy from Kilfinane who wowed the judges with his party-piece – a rap. The runner-up prize went to Derek Griffin from Effin.
“There were six contestants and they all dressed up in the high heels, dresses, make-up and wigs,” said David.
“It was great fun.”
The Battle of the Parish meanwhile, was won by team Upper Sunville. For further photographs see the Ardpatrick Na Fianna Festival Facebook Page.