Northern Ireland news

Priest dances his way through Newry for charity GAA event

Fr Colum Murphy shows off his dance moves ahead of a GAA charity event in Newry. Video by Dara McCoy of DMC Events

SHOPPERS in Newry would have been forgiven a double take when they spotted their local priest dancing his way through the streets in bright pink bow-tie, braces and bowler hat.

Fr Colum Murphy, curate at Newry Cathedral, was showing off his moves ahead of a GAA charity event he will be waltzing his way into next month.

In a hilarious video posted online, the cleric can be seen leaving the grounds of the cathedral before being stopped in his tracks by the sound of 'Is This The Way To Amarillo'.

Having burst into song and dance on Hill Street, it's not long before crowds begin to join in, waving flags and swaying and clapping to the music around the city.

The video is all in aid of St John Bosco GAC in Newry, who have organised a Strictly Come Dancing fundraising event.


Fr Murphy, who is chaplain to the club, will take part in the competition on May 6 along with almost 50 other eager dancers.

They will take to the floor at the Canal Court Hotel in a bid to raise funds for the club as well as two charities close to the hearts of people in Newry.

Paul MacCormaic from the Boscos said money will be donated to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust as well as a fund set up following the death of former player Eamonn Morgan in a dune buggy crash in Qatar last year.

"People are coming from over Newry and further afield to support this, there's a great community spirit," he said.

"Eamonn was a Bosco senior team player and we were all devastated when he died, but something like this keeps his memory alive.

"It's something that's very close to home and very close to our hearts.

"And while Collie Bell may be a rival Mitchells man, we all come together to help one another and we're delighted to be able to help the trust he set up after his son died."

Mr MacCormaic said they were also delighted to have Fr Colum involved.

"Years ago there was always a club chaplain, but in recent years this hasn't been the case as much," he said.

"But St John Bosco, we are proud to have Fr Colum as chaplain and especially over the past year following the death of young Eamonn Morgan, he's been a great support.

"While we are doing Strictly Come Dancing, we're doing it a bit differently and it's various dance troupes rather than couples.

"We have Newry Panto Players as well as a Gaelic for Mothers group and there's also a number of footballers and mentors taking part. People involved are aged from eight to 80."

Fr Murphy said while the nerves are already setting in, he is looking forward to showing his moves.

"I'm a group of four of us called Heavenly Stars and we are dancing to four different songs," he said.

"Rehearsals are picking up, there's been lots of dancing, much of it bad dancing so far, but we will be getting in more as the time gets closer.

"Cailina Power from Rostrevor is keeping us all right, keeping us on our toes. There's about 40 to 50 people in total so there's a lot of excitement and nerves.

"It's all in a great cause as well, it will be great craic and great publicity for all involved."

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available. For further information, contact Paul MacCormaic on 07872 837939.

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