Anne Noonan And Sadie O’Reilly Grand Marshals 2023

Anne Noonan And Sadie O’Reilly
Founder & Current Members & Grand Marshalls
Clane Musical & Dramatic Society (Founded 1983)
Clane’s St. Patrick’S Day Parade

When the Society was founded in 1983 by Marie Hickey and Maureen McCormack neither Anne nor Sadie had ever been in a Musical before, nor had they been on stage except for school productions.

The Society’s first show, The Boyfriend was produced on a shoestring and the goodwill shown by everyone in the village was incredible. John O’Connell provided barrels and scaffolding planks to help build a stage in the GAA hall, while Pat Lynch (then Principal of Scoil Phadraig) allowed the Society to borrow the portable school stage. Pat also looked very dapper in his dress suit, as he welcomed patrons at Front of House! Anne was a member of the ladies’ chorus in the show and learned how to tap dance in a couple of chorus numbers. Sadie was given a baptism of fire when she agreed to be stage manager. The cast changing room was a portacabin at the back door of the hall!!

In 1984 and 1985 Fiddler on the Roof and Guys ‘n Dolls were staged in Scoil Mhuire and Behan’s Hall respectively. Anne was in Fiddler on the Roof but then hung up her dancing shoes to concentrate on being a committee member. In fact, she has been either Chairperson or Treasurer of the Society for almost forty years. She always smiles when telling the story of her youngest son Paul, who, when asked in 1997 in school to put the words “even though” into a sentence, without a second thought, wrote;
“My Mam is in CMDS even though she can’t sing”. Anne says that she is still a member of the Society after all these years and hasn’t learnt to sing yet!! That’s not true!

Sadie has continued to take part in musicals, plays and pantomimes – she has directed nine dramas and the musical Carousel, helped with costumes and back stage and organises regular play readings.

In 1986 the Society moved to what has become its permanent home in the wonderful Abbey courtesy of Clane Community Council.
Each year the sturdy stone walls of the Abbey have resounded to the peals of laughter (and occasional tears) and enthusiastic applause of patrons showing their appreciation for the songs and stories performed by the talented casts, accompanied by live orchestras. Shows produced to date are many and varied and Anne and Sadie are really excited about this year’s production of “All Shook Up” which was inspired by the songs of the late Elvis Presley.

Over the years the Society and members have received numerous nominations and awards from AIMS (Association of Irish Musical Societies). While nominations and awards are wonderful it is the enjoyment of rehearsing and performing with friends and the continued appreciation of our friends in the audience which is the real reward for members of the Society both on and off stage.
However, the greatest reward is the friendships forged over the years. Members may come and go, but they always remain part of the “CMDS Family”. This “tag” possibly reflects the number of families who have performed together on the Abbey Stage – including, amongst many, the Clifford, Conroy, Cusack, Dillon, Fahy, Fusco, Hickey, Hodson, Jordan, Kelly, Killick, Lennon, Maleady, Marron O’Flaherty, McGauran, Hoban, Hodson, Nolan, Noonan, O’Donohoe, O’Reilly, Reidy, Tyndall and Waters families.
As the Society approaches its 40th anniversary Anne and Sadie, as founder and current members are proud of and grateful to all members, past and present, together with the many talented Directors, Musical Directors and Choreographers who produced the shows, assisted in no small way by the outstanding work of set builders like Marie Cusack and Wardrobe Mistresses like Trish Fusco. They are also grateful to the people and businesses of Clane who have supported the Society both financially and in friendship over the last forty years.

They are honoured to be invited by the organising committee to be Grand Marshalls of Clane’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and immensely proud to represent the Society in doing so.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh go léir.