Tipp village Lisvernane wins national TV competition

It was the biggest Irish language competition in history and on Sunday night’s TV final showdown, in front of a cheering crowd, Paddy “Bear” O’ Shea led his Tipperary village of Lisvernane to victory and a €40,000 prize.

It was the biggest Irish language competition in history and on Sunday night’s TV final showdown, in front of a cheering crowd, Paddy “Bear” O’ Shea led his Tipperary village of Lisvernane to victory and a €40,000 prize.

“I knew as soon as the presenter announced that one of the G-Teams had received 27,000 text votes out of a record breaking 36,000, I just knew it was us,” said Paddy. “There was no way with all the work we had put in that we had only got 9,000 votes.”

The Irish language competition, An G-Team, began on Easter Monday 2011 and after months of work and the getting together of an entire community, over one hundred people from the village of Lisvernane travelled to Dublin for the final filmed in Dublin last Friday, March 16.

“Without doubt, with the exception of my wedding day and my children being born, it was one of the most amazing moments in my life,” said Paddy.

The final of the TV show ‘An G-Team’ was aired on TG4 on Sunday night. The finalists, Donabate, Co. Dublin and Lisvernane faced a public text vote for the winning title.

It was labelled a ‘David & Goliath’ situation, with the small village of Lisvernane up against Donabate, a much bigger town and population. “We imagined we had no chance, said local Cllr. Joe O’Donovan. “Donabate had a much larger population than us and if they had worked hard at it we’d have had no chance but the spirit in rural Ireland is still there and still strong. We are over the moon.”