01 Jul 2022

Limerick legal eagles swap courtroom for ballroom to raise money for charities

Twenty solicitors, barristers, courts staff and law students will be taking part in Strictly Legal Eagles on Thursday, November 1 but who will waltz away with the title? Picture: Adrian Butler

Twenty solicitors, barristers, courts staff and law students will be taking part in Strictly Legal Eagles on Thursday, November 1 but who will waltz away with the title? Picture: Adrian Butler

LIMERICK’S legal eagles are putting on a charity Strictly Come Dancing event featuring everything from the Argentine Tango to Salsa but no Jailhouse Rock. 

Members of Limerick Solicitors’ Bar Association, barristers of the South Western Circuit, Courts Service staff and the Law faculty in UL will be donning their dancing shoes for for two good causes. All monies raised will go to the Children’s Grief Centre and Mid-Western Cancer Foundation. 

Strictly Legal Eagles takes place in the South Court Hotel from 6.30pm on Thursday, November 1. Secretary of the Limerick Bar Association, Derek Walsh, of Keating Connolly Sellors Solicitors, came up with the idea and made his case to 19 others to take part.

“There has been an incredible response to this unique event. We are used to a courtroom and very few of us have any background whatsoever in dancing so this is completely out of our comfort zone. I am so grateful to all the dancers who have been brave enough to put themselves forward and who have dedicated their time to raise funds for these two worthy charities. 

There is a great atmosphere amongst the group of dancers, the practice has been super craic. I also want to thank the strictly committee who have dedicated so much of their time to organising the event,” said Derek.

The two charities are very close to his heart.

“A number of weeks after the birth of her second child, my sister Louise was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of metastatic breast cancer and she died last year at the age of 36, only 11 months after her diagnosis. During her brief illness, she was a champion for cancer awareness. Unfortunately her story is not unique and cancer affects so many families.

“The Mid-Western Cancer Foundation is our local cancer charity and all donations are used in this region to enhance services for patients attending the cancer centre at the University Hospital Limerick and for research at the University of Limerick.

“The Children’s Grief Centre is a support service for children like Louise’s two little girls who have lost a parent through death or otherwise and they provide an invaluable service to families in the region. The work of the Mid Western Cancer Foundation and Children’s Grief Centre is truly inspirational and they are such deserving charities,” said Derek.

The legal theme continues with the presenters –  Declan Copues BL, of Limerick’s Live 95FM, and solicitor, Will Leahy, of RTE. Attendees can expect lots of craic, fun, hopefully a few good, and bad, dance moves, said Derek.

“We have 20 dancers. The show will start at 7.30pm with an opening routine by the entire group. The couples will then do their individual routines which range from Argentine tango, freestyle, samba, strictly ballroom, latin mix, jitterbug, lindy charleston, charleston, salsa and jive. We have four special guests judges who will announce the winner at the end of the nigh,” said Derek.

It will be interesting to see if recognaissance is fixed after the judges’ decision!

The dancers are Derek Walsh, Keating Connolly Sellors Solicitors and Ita Barrett, Holmes O’Malley Sexton Solicitors; Donal Creaton, Holmes O’Malley Sexton Solicitors, Jennifer Markham Law student, UL; Kieran O’Donovan, Tynan O’Donovan Solicitors, Lisa O’Brien, McMahon O’Brien Tynan Solicitors; Olan Buckley, Harrison O’Dowd Solicitors, Rebecca Treacy BL; John Battles, John Battles & Company Solicitors, Sinead Nolan, Mark Murphy & Company Solicitors; Ger O’Neill, O’Neill & Company Solicitors, Elizabeth Walsh, solicitor; Mark Potter, Kieran Mulcahy Solicitors, Maria Lane BL; Bryan Sheehan, David Sheehan & Company Solicitors, Hillary McSweeney, Courts Service; Pat Barriscale BL, Sarah Falvey, Holmes O’Malley Sexton Solicitors; Philip Moloney BL, Mary Geary, McMahon O’Brien Tynan Solicitors.

Under the watchful eye of dance instructor, Bridget Harte, they have been rehearsing twice a week since early September. Stephanie Power, president of Limerick Solicitors Bar Association, praised the “tremendous effort put in by Derek, the dancers and the strictly committee for two most deserving charities”.

For tickets, to sponsor, provide a spot prize or make a donation email or log onto Strictly Legal Eagles Go Fund Me page.

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