Ceol Cois Tine - Comhaltas Archive

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Ceol Cois Tine - Comhaltas Archive

with myself- that so many years havepassed and there is so mu ch I wanted toaccomplish." I become sad too when I see Irelandin shatters and I wish for peace in everyarea of life in this country- politics,industry and in the home. The greed oftoday is something I cannot accept. Icannot understand it because I never sawit in my younger days. I often wonderwere we happier working- really workingand fully appreciating what we wereearning. There was a wonderful feelingof anticipation in saving to buy some- .thing and a greater joy when the time ,came to actually buy it. Today, weexpect too much much too quickly."We have come too far too quickly .There is no longer time to stand and stareat the good things of life . We no longerhave the tinle to stop to talk to our .friends, to enquire and to offer the spiritof the good neighbour. ." I know it sounds like a cliche but it istrue when I say- I think we have left Godout of too many things in this so-called 'modern Ireland."The old entrance to Barrington's Hospital- oneof Limerick's most honoured institutions.(Photo: TOM TOBIN)--- ---------------------------------,-- -- - _ ... _ ----BODHRANS AND BONESceisc OgO'Il (),~cA new regular feature of Treoir will be a quiz competition entitled, "Ceist AgamOrt".This Bi-monthly competition will comprise of six questions, and is open to allreaders of Treoir.Two prizes of LPs will be awarded to the first two correct entries, and the winner'snames will be published in the following editions of Treoir.Comortas Uimhir 1I. Where is Brian Bom buried?2. What is the title of J ames J oyce's last work?3. What year was the Kilfenora ceili band formed ?4. What is the smallest independent State in the World?5. In what year was the first Tionol Cheoil held in Gormanston College?6. Which state in the U.S.A. is known as the Lone Star State?Send your answeres t()"Eamonn 6 hArgain , Ceist aglll1! ort, Culturlann nahEireann, Baile na Manach , Co . Atha Cliath, on or beforeSeptember 30, 1982.By TABORWOODBodhrans!These professionaly finished instrumentsare constructed in the traditionalstyle. The drum is of calf (orgoat skin if preferred) which giveexcellent tone, on the main body ofthe bodhran, the cross members ofmaghogany are fashioned into aship's wheel style. This featuregives the player better hand controlover the instrument and adds to theattractive appearance of thebodhrans, standard straight crossmembers can also be supplied at reduce.:!cost, the whole is in maghoganyfinish with brass studding.BONES IN ROSEWOOD OR YEWThese balanced bones fashioned insome of the world's finest woodscomplete the percussion requirementsof the folk musician.For further information ring :Irish enquiries: Dublin 50lO79U.K. enquiries: Harpenden 6081211


Near panic breaks out in the IrishNaval Service , all of whose equipment atthis particular time is out of commission,when they are ordered to intercept thevaluable shipload. However, with the fullco-operation of Japan they eventuallymanage to get one of their corvettes tosea- to find while ploughing through thebriny that their ammunition is nothingbut blanks.Joe Hennessy has produced a storythat is highly amusing but it unearthsmany questions that some of us whorecall the events of the Claudia gun-runningin Dungarvan Bay had forgotten .For a man who claims he knows nothingabout ships or seafaring his story isremarkable- But this is a smuggling yarnthat offers a series of laughable situationsthat seem too improbable- and yetprovide many a thOUght-provoking twistto make the reader wonder.Joe spent many years of his life in thedevelopment of commercial aviation atShannon Airport and later served withairlines in Taiwan, Africa and America.It all began with a summer job withSeaboard and Westem Airlines at Shannonthat lasted five years. He went on toserve with Trans Ocean Airlines and laterwith Inter-Ocean Airlines which wereregistered in Luxembourg and with Inter­Continental Airlines which were registeredin the U.S."This was quite an interesting experiencefor me ," he recalled . "Inter-Oceanand Inter Continental were owned byElba Management Corporation and thisarrangement proved very handy . Theywere able to bring Jamaicans into Shannonfrom where they sent them by bus toDublin and from there they could crossinto Britain by ferry . Technically, theywere entering Britain quite legally butneedless to mention this was not to continue-and was stopped."He was instrumental in the formationof Shannon's own independent airline in1964- Shannon Air. Before it faded intohistory two years later, it had two D .CAand one D.C .6 aircraft operating on acharter basis ferrying passengers andcargo to America and Europe."It was a grand old airline ," said J oe," I had the fancy title of 'Director of Operations'but it is important to recall nowthat we had no great overheads and wecould afford to be highly competitive.We had the problem of not being able tofly into any airport being served by AerLingus and it seems ffiatfhere was nothingthe government of the day could doto help us. Our American directors justcouldn't figure this situation out. Indeed,it remains hard to figure out today. Theoutcome was a clear-cut failure ."I went to the States to work for AirAsia Corporation. I was seconded to CivilAir Transport who, in turn, seconded meto Air America in Taiwan. I had morethan my share of adventure there. I wasin a helicopter crash on the side of amountain and to this day I can't figureout how all of us on board escaped."He returned to the States to work forthe airline he started out with back homein Shannon- Seaboard and Western . "Ifinished up in 1971 and returned to Limerickand on looking back now I think 1was determined even then to devote therest of my life to writing. I must say thatI haven't been successful. I have writteneight books but 'The Challengers Defeat'is my first to be published and I'm reallypleased about this."Joe Hennessy who lives with his wife ,Mary , daughters Susan, Janet and Sharonand his son, Joey at Kerway , North CircularRoad , Limerick is hoping that threemore of his books will be published ." There is one in particular which I feelgood about. It deals with two Limerickboys, one Catholic and the other Protestantwho grow up together as buddies.The Catholic fails to get into the IrishArmy cadets so he joins the British Armyand becomes an officer who eventuallyfinds himself on duty in Northern ireland.The Protestant becomes a successfulbusinessman who travels to the Northwhere he is shot dead by his boyhoodfriend from Limerick in crossfire- and thereal tragedy is that the Catholic BritishArmy Officer never knew who his victimwas."The name of the book is : "My Godson'sFather' and even though it has beenturned down once or twice already, Ihave high hopes for it. Another one is :The Czar's Legacy' and is based on some-A look back at history-a period when ShannonAirport was only beginning and when it waspossible to sit and watch the planes come andgo at very close range. (Note-the man on theextreme right is An Fear MOl of Ring College,R.I.P.). This picture was taken 28 years ago.(Photo; TOM TOBIN)thing 1 heard while in America. It seemedtoo fantastic at the time but the more Ifollowed it through the more I becamefascinated. It seems that when Eamonnde Valera went to the States to collectmoney for the establishment of thenation , the Russians were there also andthey had the Czar's jewels for sale . Thiswas just after they had put an end to himand his family . The jewels were said tohave been bought by the Irish and the bigquestion is- what became of them?" On the lighter side , I have a veryfunny story in 'Shannon Die- Never'which is about the reactions of the manycharacters at Shannon Airport on realisingthat Aer Lingus is planning to withdrawall services. The national carrier believesthat it can survive only by movinglock, stock and barrel to Dublin and theShannon characters start building a spaceship to bring in tourists from outer-space.Of course, it is nonsense but on the otherhand there are some telling points in thestory. Still, it is very funny ."The airlines' veteran who was born inNew York but was reared by his grandmother,Mrs. Brigid Keogh in Limerick'shistoric Parnell Street, has dedicated hisfirst book to her.He is looking forward to the pUblicationof many more. "I can make no claimwhatever to any kind of greatness," hetold me with a big smile . "In fact , 1know nothing about writing other thanputting down on paper the characters andincidents I have met and have knownabout- and you can be sure they havebeen many- particularly at Shannon Airport."13


Luxembourg on the MoveBy Martin F. JoyceTir bheag i an Lucsamburg, co-mar(no co-beag, b'fheidir!) le ContaeThiobradArann . Ard-Diuc aici mar cheann Stait...agus thart ar dha chead eireannaighirneasc na 350,000 daoine ata ina gconaisan cuine ailinn seo do Chomhphobal nahEorpa. Tir agus i mar a bheadh si ibhfolach idir an Fhrainc, an Ghearmainagus an Bheilg .. .. tir ag a bhfuil craobhnua den Chomhaltas ann le ocht mianois!Yes, Comhaltas is alive and well inLuxembourg, under the patronage ofSaint Fiachra (who is well-known on thecontinent), and that of our Ambassador,Kevin Rush, who , since his arrival inLuxembourg three years ago has alwaysencouraged the setting-up of a branch ofComhaltas. (Irish activities had not beenabsent before this and indeed we have aGaelic Sports Club with a long record ofmatches, including a recent trip to Dublinto play the Aer Lingus Hurling and Footballteams.) An ad hoc committee wasconvened at the beginning of last winterand the general meeting which was subsequentlycalled in November formallycreated Craobh Naomh Fiachra.The Committee that was then elected,under the guidance of its bodhran-thumpingScottish President, Martin Joyce(Scottish?-yes indeed, but his father wasfrom the West), decided not to be overambitiousat the start, and to fix itselfa goal of one Comhaltas activity everythree months until we "got the feel of thething". But right from the beginning,thanks to the immense hospitality of theoriginal members, a series of Scoraiochtai"happened" in peoples' homes atintervals of about one month. At thesame time, a group of "closet" musicianscame to light and began practising regularly. We always knew that we had a lotof good voices in Luxembourg, and thereagain people began renewing their repertoiresand coming out with new songs atthe scoraiochtai. And an adventurousgroup of eight began to learn "Caidhp anChliil Aird" with a view to dazzling theeyes of the beholders on the occasion ofthe branch's first "big" event- a giantCEILI- SCORAIOCHT to coincide withthe celebrations of the Irish communityin Luxembourg on St. Patrick's week- wedon't have a St. Patrick's Day in Luxembourg;here the national holiday goes onfor a week!Well, that turned out to be a wonderfulevening- the best part of it being that,of the 80 people present, about fortywere neither Irish nor members of Com-haltas. Obviously, the creation of aLuxembourg branch corresponded tosomething that people really wanted.On the setting-up of the branch backin November, we had also indicated ourexistence to the Cultural Circle of theEuropean Institutions in Luxembourg(many of the Irish people livingLuxembourg work for the various Europeaninstitutions which are situated in theGrand Duchy). They were delighted tocount Comhaltas among the clubs affiliatedto the "Cercle Culture I" and so ,along with our own activities, we haveparticipated in many events organised onan international level, involving manydifferent forms of cultural expression.Our present membership of 34includes 4 Luxembourgers, 2 Frenchpeople , an Italian and a number ofEnglish- the international flavour is verymuch present- their feet tap happily tothe music of our instrumental group , andthey are all delighted to join in the dancingand thrilled to be able to manage a"Fallai Luirnnf' or an "Ionsai nahlnnse" .Christianity was first brought toLuxembourg in the sixth century by St.Willibrord. If St. Willibrord was notactually Irish, he would most certainlyhave been trained by Irish monks at themonastic settlements of Iona, Holy15Ireland as a theme, with backgroulld!!lsupplied by BOld Failte, Aerthe I.D.A.k'C~~~:'·" - '.'~Island, Lindisfarne ...... His tomb isenshrined in the magnificent basilica ofEchternach. This beautiful mediaevaltown is the site of one of Europe's finestmusic festivals which runs each year frommid-June to mid-July; it is situated onthe banks of the Moselle river whichforms part of the eastern border betweenLuxembourg and Germany. This windingsun-drenched river valley contains manyof the vineyards which produce thejustly~reputed Moselle wines- indeed, theLuxembourg wines are considered bymany (particularly the Luxemburgishandthe Irish would surely not disagree)to be amongst the best in Europe. Theyalone (!) would justify a trip to thischarming area where the "Irishconnection" has been so long established,and here we are again, thanks to Comhaltas,bringing Irish culture back to thefore in the Grand Duchy!The central situation of Luxembourgmakes it an ideal stopping-off point on aEuropean tour. Comhaltas in Luxembourgwould be delighted to accommodatean Irish Comhaltas group passingthrough- or even one thinking of makingLuxembourg the reason for a visit toEurope. Such a visit from an Irish branchof Comhaltas would add a number ofundoubtedly delightful fixtures to ourdiary of events!


The ChangingFleadh SceneLe Cormac MacGiollaThe Fleadh Cheoil now, if I remember the love of music in our hearts and werightly , a thirty year old baby has proved had the gospel to spread ..........itself one of our greatest if not the great·est exposes of our traditional culture, ofour timeless heritage. Perhaps our Fleadh "#" 1\,may well be thirty one years old as likethe time of the Barmicides of James Clar·ence Mangan "my eyes are filmed , myhead is grey and I'm bowed with theweight of years".Since its inception on a National basisI have served the Fleadh as competitor,administrator, spectator and mostly asadjudicator. It is indeed from the adjudicationtable that I have seen the changesrung over the years. The days of thefifties when I well remember in a certainWestern town Joe O'Dowd that Sligomaestro and I sat through seventy eight"Rakes of Mallow" on a broiling Julyday . God, we were in a stew with thegood teaching nuns awaiting our decision.Competitor 79 was a Barrett or a Hoganfrom Mountbellew as was competitor 80and perhaps 81 . They raised the siegeand with real traditional expertise gave usour bealach amach. Imor was the Barretlad , son of the great Paddy of the square(RIP). I forget the Hogan boy's name ,but Micheal and his charming wife havesince seen many a Fleadh. Myriads ofFleadh Cheoil memories rushed across mymind as I presented the son and heir atthe recent Connacht Fleadh. The earlyfleadhanna , and I know as I was in overmy depth in most of them, were greataffairs now in retrospect. We adjudicatedand if not always correctly then I canswear we were always honest and helpfulin our efforts. We had the love of musicin our hearts and we had a gospel tospread . Later on we became on firstname terms with our competitors. Wedowned small whiskies and pints withthem before and after competitions butwe always adjudicated honestly and explicitlyand were respected for it.17


AgDeanamh CeotlTHE TlIOMOND BRIDGE HORNPIPEA version of this hornpipe was recorded on an old '78' by theAughrirn Slopes Ceill Band from East Galway . The version,which is extremely interesting, contains rare piano variationsplayed, as far as I can establish by Josie O'Halloran. As anexcercise in taste and blend it deserves closer study and analysis-coming from the grand masters themselves.The late Jack Mulkerf:; , leader of the Aughrim Slopes in thoseyears, who lived in Crusheen, Co. Clare since 1938 was a majorsource of folklore and history. His home was well worth avisit for any student of traditional Irish music.The first part of the tune (Bars 1-8) is based on a recentrecording by the Boston Branch of Cornhaltas CeoltoiriEireann entitled "We're Irish Still." In this recording TheThomond Bridge is played by Eileen Falls, a fantastic youngpupil of Seamus Connolly in Boston The tune goes on toinclude the Aughrirn Slopes versiontit $l fl #& [ J2i F I eFff tLrr Ir ~ r Et -11'~EEr.rrf I f¥1 rID lerr tit I 4tr §I


MORRISSEY AND THE RUSSIAN SAILORCome all you gallant Irishmen wherever you may beI hope you'll pay attention and listen unto meJ P iJ 3' I j ) J ) I j J J )1 J.I'll te 11 about this ba1:tle that took place the othe r dayBetween a Russian sailor and young ~ohnnyMorrissey,,; ,AN QJL DUIBHRECois a Ghaothraidh is breath a 'n Eirinn 's is ailne ar domhanMil is ceir bheach ceol ag eanaibh agus ~ - 11 ar chrann~loisfeadh einne cantain ean ann a bheadh m11 (e) 'On. mballOno bhui's caortha ar bharraibh geag ann ~ ' fas go Samhain."


FleadhThousandsin TuneBy Pauline Reynolds,"The Irish News"The small County Cavan town ofCootehill may be off the beaten tracebutit certainly wasn't off beat this weekendas thousands of traditional musicianstuned in for the colourful Ulster Fleadh.From all arts and parts they came tothe tiny town armed with accordions,flutes , bodhrans, fiddles, banjos, pipesand the humble yet rhythmic spoons.They came to entertain-they did justthat and nobody was disappointed . Asthe 30 pubs filled to capacity the overspillsoon started up impromptu sessionson the streets.Young people and old seasoned farmerswet their whistles to the soundsfrom dedicated musicians. Hundredswere on the fiddle and everyone wasdelighted . They drank in the atmosphere-complemented of course with theodd pint or two.Players played on through to the weesmall hours but were back on form foranother session yesterday even before thebars flung open their doors shortly aftermid-day .The temperatures might have fallen inthe afternoon but the tempo soared.Americans" French, Swiss and Germanshummed along ' as best they could,completely agog with the fren zied excitementboth indoors and out.Denim-clad youths still living in thesixties, and country folk in theirtraditional Sunday-best, blue serge suits,compared notes on their instruments.Excited youngsters mystified withthe goings-on of thousands of musicianssoon got into the swing of things as impromptukiddies' ceilis took to the street.Feet tapped , spoons clicked, bodhransbeat and fluters fluted to their heart'scontent.But the highlight of the weekend wasundoubtedly the 100 competitions for allages and all types of traditional eventsranging from whistling to ceili bands. 'First place in each section automaticallygoes through to take part in thewidely acclaimed All-Ireland Fleadh. Butas far as spectators were concerned everyonewas a winner.Current All-Ireland slow air fiddlechampion, Tony McGoldrick, from Rash- ;arkin, explained that this year's standard 'was "excellent.""The youngsters are great, They'rekeen and enthusiastic, in fact many are asgood , if not better than older counterparts."~d t.wo young ladies from Armaghcamplllg III the town were certainly intenton enjoying themselves. "We hitcheddo~n o? Saturday and joined musicsessIOns III nearly every pub and on everycorner." It was after five in the morning whenwe got back to the camp site and therewer~, sti1~ fiddle!s and flautists on topkey , smIled Derrdre Fox and ElizabethMackle.But one thing was sure . No one wouldbe sounded off for the noise .According to the organisers Cootehillwas the perfect place to go to town onsuch an event. Fleadh Committee ChairmanNoel Halton said the wide streetsand excellent facilities meant there wasplenty of room, food and drink for thethousands of visitors.And as the worn-out musicians withtheir almost worn-out instruments packedup early Monday morning to trudge theweary way home, one thing was certaintheRolling Stones may have gathered70,000 at Slane, but the several thousandwho turned up at Cootehill were ofanother equally good musical calibre.A GOOD FLEADHThe 1982 Fleadh Cheoil Uladhwas obviously one of the best todate, reminiscent of the greatfleadhanna of the '60s. There wasatmosphere and comraderie secondto none.Reports from the other Provin­~es also. indicate the same story-Just like the old times" was aregular comment at fleadhannathroughout the country this year.Street sessions in a relaxed atmospherewould seem to have beenvery much in evidence.There is now a widely held beliefalso that the re-introduction of thepageant, parade and other sidefeatures, which were so much a partof the early fleadhanna should beactively pursued . Mu~h will beheard of this in the coming monthsWhatever the outcome 1982 wilicertainly go down as "a good fleadhyear."19


Christchurch Place ; Denis Devereux ofCork St.; Pat Brereton of LowerExchange St.; and Warrens of Kilrnainham,to name but a few .There the townsfolk converged in largenumbers on Friday and Saturday eveningseach week, eager to hear their favouriteperformers. These were usually identifiedby nicknames descriptive of their traits­"Sour Face" Reynolds of the Coombe;Whiskered Tomrny Atkins of Bride St. ;Stout Mary , the "Prima Donna" of theCoombe; Boosey Malone, the Banjoman;Billy Kane, the Shipmaker; Dick Madden ,the Weaver ; Billy Daly , the Schoolmaster'sSon; The "China Cane" man;Johnny Doyle of Weavers' Square;Tommy Shalvey of Cow Parlour; andClinton Hoey and Tom Reilly , "TheCarpenter Pair ."The kerb side facing his father's Barwas a favourite "Stand" for many singers.PJ. was always eager to listen to them,and oftimes joined lustily in their rousingchoruses, we learn. Thus he became"hooked" on ballads and he devoted hisentire life to them. His amazingCollection in 13 fine volumes, now in thearchives of the National Library, isconvincing evidence of this.No doubt PJ. was a most versatilePoet. His patriotic ballads are still widelyknown. Their rollicking metres are trulysoul-stirring. But they are mostly highlyesteemed for their intimate knowledge ofleading events in Ireland's history. Histranslations from Irish are dignified inmy lIlm, soothingly smooth in flow, andare reminiscent of James Clarence Mangan'sstyle. He also composed scores ofhighly imaginative Fairy Songs. Theseaptly reflect Ireland's traditional beliefin the "Good People". Many of his"Love Ditties" are delightfully appealing,and are characterised by an enchantinglywitty and a really indefinable charm.But above all, McCall had an outstandingenthusiasm for Ireland's traditionalmelodies and wedded most of his songsto them. His happiest ballads have a distinctiverural bias, and bubble withfriendliness and good humour. These arenot only Wexford in sentiment and spirit,but they also popularise numerous Wexfordresorts and historic places. Ofcourse, he also wrote delightful songsabout his native Dublin, (which are littleheard or known nowadays, alas), such as:"By the Poddle's Flowery Banks", "DublinBay Herrings", "St. Patrick's Market,Dublin"; "Clontarf'; "Clarence Mangan";and "St. Patrick's Curse".For decades after his lamented deathMcCall's delightful ditties were favouredeverywhere- at Concerts and on radio , atfeiseanna and social gatherings. Indeed , itcan be truly asserted that no modemCollection of Irish Ballads can claim to bereally representative without them.Japanese American Studies Traditional Fiddlin.gBy Gear6id 0 hAllmhuniinDavid Abe, who is fourth generationAmerican of Japanese ancestry, has spentthe past twelve months poring over tapearchives of Irish traditional fiddle musicand with the aid of a bursary from theThomas J. Watson Foundation of Providence, Rhode Island, is on the way toproducing a unique treatise on Irish fiddlestyles with particular emphasis on thefiddle dialect of West Clare.David, who is a twenty-three year oldElectronic Engineer from Los Angeles,Southern California, is a classical violinistand began to play Irish traditional musicfive years ago, having become interestedthrough a local folk music radioprogramme. He then made contact withIrish traditional musicians in the LosAngeles area, most of whom had emigratedin the 1960s from Dublin. When hegraduated in May 1981, from HarveyMudd College, Claremont, California, hereceived a bursary from the Thomas J.Watson Foundation in Rhode Island, tostudy Irish traditional fiddle music andstyles.Since his arrival in Ireland last August,I).e has attended several fleadhanna, ScoilEigse '8) , the Willie Clancy SummerSchool, Eigse Ulaidh, Gaoth Dobhair andhas also sat the Teastas Teagasc i gCeolTire, teachers' course at Culturlann nahEireann. He has meticulously workedthrough the Comhaltas Ceolt6iri Eireann,Radio Telefis Eireann and the UniversityCollege , Dublin folk music archives. Hehas also carried out extensive field recordingsin West Donegal and Clare and hasproduced some fine transcriptions ofBobby Casey's music with annotationsparticularly on Casey's unique style andvariation patterns.In this and subsequent issues of"Treoir" we are including some ofDavid's transcriptions from BobbyCasey's West Clare repertoire with commentson his style. The first tune whichis the final tune in the selections from theold ceili band '78' series, is submitted inmemory of the late Jack Mulkere ofCrusheen, former leader of the AughrimSlopes Ceili Band from East Galway , whodied recently.21


which we publish in this column . Keepsearching, John, and we extend the sameinvitation to all our readers ___ - _ Avisit to Dungloe, Co. Donegal, is amarvellous occasion at any time but avisit there for Seisiim na Samhna will undoubtedlybe a highlight in a music-packedyear. The 1982 Autumn festival willbe hosted by the Dungloe ComhaltasBranch- ably supported by Donegal Co .Board- on the 22/25 October and theenergetic Ann Brennan and her teamintend to make it one of the best to date .The news from many Seisiun groups isthat transport arrangements are alreadywell in hand - _ - • - Kenneth Veasey,with his roots in Dromod, Co . Leitrim,now lives in New Jersey but his heart isstill Irish as is his music. He is typical ofthe hundreds of young traditional musiciansin America who have revealed suchhigh standards of musicianship. Kennethhas twice won the All-Ireland fiddlechampionship under 14 years and his eyeis now set on the coveted senior title.Kenneth is also a member of the GardinState Ceilf Band which won the under-14ceili band championship in BuncranaComhaltas in Ulster keeps the flag ofmusic flying in many towns and villagesthroughout the province as our picturefrom Craobh Dungannon proudly shows.It is these musical activities which help tounite rather than to divide , and whichhelp to cultivate the seeds of sanity in aworld of chaos, and surely this is no meanachievement. We salute the "Dungannons"of this world ____ • If one commentmore than another was heard fromvisitors who attended "Seisil un"througnout the country It was "This isjust what we've been looking for." Itseems that at least on this point there isno need for any survey to decide onvisitor preference. All we can add is letus give the visitors what they want anddeserve. To do otherwise would not onlybe culturally but also economicallyindefensible - - - - - Congratulations tothe Munster Council of Comhaltas ontheir innovation "Scoil Fonn's Amhnin"which was held in conjunction with tht;Munster Fleadh Cheoil. All will agreethat our songs and ,airs. are deserving ofspecial attention, and the young studentswho availed of the opportunity presentedby the Munster Council will undoubtedlyhave a greater knowledge andappreciation of this most importantelement of our native music - •• - -23


~Piobairi a Fuair Bas ar Son na hEireannLe Sean U a. Ceamaigh~hi dluthbhaint ag piobairi na~. hEireann le gluaiseacht na saoirseU riamh. Smaoinitear ar na piobairicumasacha a sheinn ceol roimhcatha aim sir Aodh U i Neill agusAodh Ui Dhonaill, na piobairi a leanEoghan Rua ag an mBeann Borb , na piobairia chaoin briseadh Luimni agus naBoinne. Sa chead seo againniie , ta buanchuimhneag muintir Corcai ar eacht FlorBegley- Piobaire Chrosaire an Bharraighasheinn leis go hard agus go haigeanta agtus na torda moire ar 19 Marta, 1921 ,nuair a chloigh Tom Barry agus a chomhghaiscighforsai na nGal!.Ta triur Eireannach eile , amh, triurpiobairi a d'eag ar son na saoirse , ar choirduinn-ne uile (agus go hairithe sinne armhor linn an ceol duchasach) bheith moralachmortasach astu . Triur iad a sheas godaingean dilis le cuis na hEireann gach lariamh gur thug siad a n-anamnacha arson Roisin Dubh sa deireadh agus iad fosi mblath na h6ige . Is iad ata i gceist agamna an Tiarna Eamon MacGearailt,Eamonn Ceannt agus Tomas Aghas.An Tiarna Eamon. ar dtus. Ni ga doman duine fiorfiasal seo a mholadh- ta sesin deanta cheana fein ag beagnach chuiledhuine a scriobh faoi chursai 1798. Marseo a scriobh an bailitheoir mor ceoil,Proinsias b Neill, faoi , 70 eigin bliain 0shin ina leabhar iomraiteach "Irish Min ­strels and Musicians":"Without a rival among the nobilityin the hearts of his countrymen, this distinguishedpatriot was the fifth son of theDuke of Leinster and was born at thefamily residence, Dublin, October 15 ,1763 .The story of his life , self-sacrifice andtragic death is a glorious episode in thehistory of Ireland and need not be dwelton in connection with the purpose of thiswork.Loving the music of his native land asdearly as its freedom, he learned to give itproper expression on the Union pipes, asweet-toned instrument as characteristicallyIrish as the native language .A set of Union pipes made of ivoryand silver and said to be the instrumenton which he played was deposited in the mheas ag gach einne, damh aige le naDublin Museum. For some reason a plain comharsana uile . Ach thug se cui le gachwooden chanter has been substituted for a shanntaionn fir oga, aoibhneas agusthe original ivory one."athas an tsaoil, gur sheas se leo siud aBhi le , buan ag an Tiarna Eamonn le bhi ag iarraidh greim an tSasanaigh sa tircuis na hEireann agus le gach a bhain le a bhogadh.cultur agus le saiocht na tire seo . B'e an[D1uair a d'ardaigh Wolfe Tone ate ba Ghael~i a~ fad de na ~earaltaigh ar .. chuid seolta gur bhain se tir ~achan an Dalbhlseach go hrugeanta (agus Fraince amach d'fhonn a mhisiunuaireanta go ro-dhiograiseach) futhu. Ba mor a chur i gcrich, ghlac anmh6r leis teanga na nGael, mar a mhea- Tiarna Eamon ceannasaiocht arbhraigh Brian b hUiginn duinn blianta ghluaiseacht na saoirse in Eirinn. Eisean afada 6 shin. Scriobh Brian :bhi mar Cheannfort ar Arm na Poblachta" Over and over again in the stirring i 1798 agus, ni nach ionadh, bhi na Gaillyears before 1798, Lord Edward advised ar a th6ir de 16 is d'oiche. Sa deireadh, arhis friends that until such time as they 19 Bealtaine, 1798, d'aimsigh siad anhad rid themselves of the English tearmann ina raibh se i bhfolach (teachlanguage as well as of English political Ui Mhurchu i Sraid Thomais) gur rinnepower, Ireland could not hope to regain siad iarracht e a ghabhail. Throid anher nationhood."Gearaltach go cr6ga gur ghoineadh e goChomh fada siar le 1911 , bhi an me id dona agus gur gabhadh e sa deireadh. Seseo le ra ag an starai Loch Garmanach, W. la deag ina dhiaidh sin fuair se bas i bpri-1. Ryan : osun Newgate de thoradh na gcreachtai"The attitude of the United Irish uafasacha a d'fhulaing se. ,leaders towards the national language has Beidh cuimhne ar an Tiarna .Eamon.been much misrepresented. Mlss Taylor, Mac Gearailt, piobaire agus poblachtach,in her life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald , tells go brath in Eirinn. Thuill se gean naof a confidential party of the patriot's nGael bocht bruite lena linn; i ndiaidh aGeraldine friends, at which the guests bhais fein ni dheachaigh an gean sin indeclared that the English language should ~ag . Breis agus dachad bliain tar eisbe abolished in Ireland, and they set Eiri Amach 1798 scriobh Tomas Daibhis:themselves forthwith to the study of the And still it is the peasant's hopes uponIrish tongue." the Curragll's mere ,Rugadh an Tiarna Eamonn MacGear- They live who'll see ten thousand menailt i 1763 (an bhliain cheanna inar with good Lord Edward here!rugadh Tone). Bhi a mhuintir gallda So let them dream till brighter days whengalanta go maith, iad go m6r i bhfach leis not by Edward's shadean gceangal le Sasana. Chaith an Tiarna But by sorTie leader true as he their linesEamon treinlhse in Arm Shasana i dtus a shall be arrayed.re gur throid se in aghaidh na Meirea· Bhi lEamon Ceannt eagsuil go leor leiseanach a bhi ag seasamh don saoirse an Tiarna Eamonn Mac Gearailt ar go leorthall. Rud e seo a ghoill air nios faide bhealai. Nior shiolraigh se 6 chlann ghusanonn.Diaidh ar ndiaidh, amh, d'eirigh talach uasaicmeach . Bhi air saothru gole is ealu 6 chultra gallda a oige .dian mar 6gfhear chun riar a choda aBriseadh e as Arm na Breataine i 1792 bhaint amach. Ina dhiaidh sin agus uile ,de bhan a dhearcadh phoblachtanach bhi treithe airithe ag roinnt le Ceanntagus na le a bhi aige le Poblacht na agus leis an nGearaltach araon. B'fhirFraince. Ta's ag each ceard a bhain d6 as bhreatha ionraice iad beirt, bhi siadsin amach, mar ar ph6s se an bhean aJainn tugtha don bpiobaireacht, gra acu araonFhraincach Pamela, mar ar chuir se faoi don Ghaeilge agus damh agus le acu igo sonasach suaimhneach i gCill Dara, gc6nai leis na gnathdhaoine.clann 6g air fein agus ar Phamela, e faoi I mBaile Mogha, Co . na Gaillimhe, a25


all, agus nach raibh ina shaighdiur faoi na poilini seo agus is e a bhi i gceannascheannas an Aghasaigh i mBliain a SeDeag."orthu na an Cigire " Baby" Gray , arscriobh Peig Sayers faoi ina leabharTa Piobairi an Fheich Dhuibh no the cailiuil beathaisneise. Nior loic TomasBlack Raven Pipe Band !inn i gconai, Aghas, amh An troid a lean, mhair sebuiochas le Dia, agus tugtar omos do cuig uair a chloigh ar fad ach bhi an la agTomas Aghas an t-iomanai gach uair a na Gaeil sa deireadh Maraiobh octarnirnritear cluichi an Oireachtais. Maidir poilini (Gray fein ina measc) aguslena chumas mar phiobaire, bhi an meid gOine,adh. cuid ,mhaith eile. Nior t~ainigsea a leanas le ra ag )TIuinteoir agus na . hOglalgh s,lan as an ngl.eo a~h o~~eadCiarraioch eile Sean 0 Suilleabhain Beut a maralOdh agus gomeadn cUlgear(Treithe :rho~,{is . Aghais. An tAthair eile. ar sea a scriobh an tAtharSe~~atph 0 Mu~hile C.1. 1967):, Wleosamh b Muirthile faoi bhas anSarcheoltou ar ~n bpib ba e~ e, ag~ higire Contae "Baby" Gray in agach .sa~radh , nuatf a thagadh .se abhail~ eabhar brea Treithe Thomaisgo Cmnalrd chun laethanta saoue a chal- Agh ..thea~, ch~theadh s~ treimhse fha~a de "Rainig ~~~b e an toifigeach a bhi igac~ la "brea samhra~dh ar Ch~rralg an gceannas ar an gConstablacht, agus gurMhlOnnam- 600 t~~lgh os. Cl?nn an maraiodh e i gCath Dhun Riabhaigh an laghleann~ ~eo , ParOlst; Ch~nau~ - agus sin, na an Cigire Contae Gray , an duineceol. a?lbhmn ae.rach a shemm a}?e, go ceanann ceanna a bhiodh ag toraiocht arg:.IOl~tl an ceol sm ar fud an ph~Ols~e g? na daoine airnsir Chogadh na Talun ilerr 0 che~~n ceann. ~a daOl~~, o,g lS gCorca Dhuibhne, an fear da mbionnaost,a, ar serrse .ag sabhail a!l ,fheu no a¥ tagairt ag Peig Sayers ina leabhar mortarlu ~ arbharr, go st.adaldls . ~a n~no 'Peig'. Tharla, mar sin , ar an bhfod sinch~n elst.ea.cht ~am~ . lels na C~~Sl ceoil a Dhun Riabhaigh, mar a bheadh comharbhlag turrlmgt ?n sp~.rr anuas; .. . . tha no samhail bee ar chasadh roth anGhlac Tomas . parrt mhor,~, obauChonradh na Gaeilge ar bhonn altlUl agustsaoil in Eirinn- cumhacht uaibhreach nanGall b'aithnid doibh siud i gCorcaar bhonn naisiunta. Mhuscail se speis sa Dhuibhne anallod b'shin i da cur astea~g~ i I?easc a ~~airde agus chuir se a~- feidhm agus da dithiu ag an Duibhneachstro a,rr feu: ag ~.umea~h ranganna Gaet!- og seo i nDun Riabhach na Mi, agusge Olche 1 ndlaldh olche gan sos gan b'shiud an Gael on nGaeltacht go caithstaonadh.reirneach i nduiche a bhi le seacht gceadScriobh se roinnt eigin friesin, idir bliain i seilbh Gall."phros agus fhiliocht. An dan is iomraitai Sea, mhuis! Meileann muilte De goda chuid " Let Me Carry Your Cross for mall! Ag smaoineamh ar Thomas AghasIreland, Lord" (a chum se i bPriosun agus ar an troid eachtach a rinneadh iLewes i 1916), is saghas tairngreachta e ar nDun Riabhaigh a bhi Francis Ledwidge ,bhealach, reamhaisling den chinniunt abhi daite do .b'fheidir nuair a scriobh se:'Riamh agus de shior sheas se ar son na No more from lovely distancesmbocht. Ba chas faoi leith leis ide na Their songs shall bless me mile by milesclabhaithe feirme. Chonaic se go ri-leir Nor to white Ashboume call me downconas mar ar caitheadh leis na hoibrithe To wear my crown another while .feirme . go hairithe i gCo. Atha Cliath agussa MhL Cuid mhaith da bhfaca se niorthaitin se leis. Thosaigh se ar ursceal ascriobh- scothdhoicirnead soisialta iscinnte dearfa- faoi shaol na sclabhaithetuaithe, agus is e an trua De e narchriochnaigh. se agus nar fhoilsigh se e.Uirigh se comhbha cinnte le lucht naStailce Moire i 1913 agus bhi ardmheasaige ar Sheamus b Conghaile agus ar Armna gCathroiri.Seac~tainna Casca, 1916, chuaighTomas Aghas agus a bhUion beag dllis imbun gnimh. Seard a bhi a dheanamhacu i dtus na seachtaine na ag gearradhb6ithre iarainn agus ar cur isteach ar fh6rsaina nGall ar a mbealach chun nacathrach. Ar an Aoine, amh, thriall siadar Dhun Riabhagh (Ashboume) i gCo . naMi agus run acu an bhearic ann- a bhi achosaint at buion mar poiliniaghabhail Throid siad go calma gurfh6gair na p6ilini go raibh siad sasta geilleadhAg an bpointe sin, amh, shroichbreis forsa poilini (os cionn 50) an suimhon taobh amuigh Bhi coir brea troda arTar eis troid na Casca daoradh TomasAghas chun bliis ach nior cuireadh anbhreith i gcrich. Seoladh go priosunDartmoor e. Tar eis tamaillin aistriodhgo Lewes e agus is ann a chum se an dan"Let Me Carry Your Cross for Ireland,Lord". An bhliain dar gcionn seoladh ego Maidstone agus is ann a bhi se nuair ascaoileadh priosunaithe na pianseirbhiseuile saor ar 18 Meitheamh, 1917.Ach bhi a threimhse sa saol sea beagnachcaite aige, faraoir . Ar 25 luil, 1917,lab hair se amach go hoscailte neamhbhalbhin aghaidh Rialtais agus reirnis naBreataine ar odid poibli i mBaile na Laoi gCo. Longfort. Niorbh fhada gurgabhadh Tomas agus gur sathadh e isteachi bPriosun Mhoinneoigh.Taca an ama sin bhi cath na bpriosunfaoi lanseol. hEagraiodh stailc ocrais igcarcair Mhoinseoigh. Thaobhaigh TomasAghas leis an gcinneadh seo go ndeachaighse fein ar stailc ar 20 Mean Fomhair,1917. Ansin dhein na hlidarais galldagniomh barbartha. Rinne siad iarracht27na priosunaigh a chothu in eadan a dtola.Brudh bia sios a gcuid sC,ornacha go f6rsuil.I gcas Thomais Aghas rinneadhdochar da chuid sdmhoga go bhfuair sebas oiche an 25u la de Mhean Fomhair,1917.Chuir bas Thomais Aghas ard fhearg armhuintir na hEireann. B'ollmh6r an sluaa bhi i lath air i mBaile Atha Cliath la ashochraide. Mar seo a scriobh an tAthairSeosamh b Muirthile in a leabhar Tn!itheThomais Aghas :"N i raibh teach feirmeora i gCorcaDhuibhpe nar chuir duine eigin uaidh goBaile Atha Cliath chun bheith ar andtionol sin , ni raibh sclabhai feirme annnar bhailigh costas an bh6thair, ma fheadse , chun bheith i lath air a thionlacan chunna reilige . Thainig siad ann a cheantairbhochta Bhaile Atha Cliath, girseacha,stocaigh, seanfhir agus seanmhna, gualainnar ghulainn lena gcomhluadartuatha, in aon lion m6r coiteann arnhainde mhilte, "breis thar mar bhi ar shochraidPharneu', a dum seantlonmanaicoiste le Douglas Goldring, duine uasallach Sa~ach a bhi faoi iontas ag anradharc agus a scriobh tuairisc air saleabhar 'An Englishman in Ireland'."~os fein ta ard mheas ag II}uintir. ---.J na hEireann ar Thomas Aghas.Breathnaitear air mar dhuine decheannrodaithe mora na saoirse.Agus ta t6ir i gconai ar an ndanuasal "Let Me Carry Your Cross forIreland, Lord", a chum se i bpriosunLewes tuairirn is bliain roirnh a bhais:Let me carry Your Cross for Ireland,Lord!The hour of her trial draws near,And the pangs and the pains of thesacrificeMay be borne by comrades dear.But, Lord, take me from the offeringthrong,There are many far less prepared,Though anxious and all as they are to dieThat Ireland may be spared.Let me carry Your Cross for Ireland,Lord !My cares in this world are few,And few are the tears which will fall formeWhen I go on my way to You.Spare, oh! spare to their loved ones dearThe brother and son and sire ,That the cause we love may never dieill the land of our heart's desire .Let me carry Your Cross for Ireland,Lord!For Ireland weak with tears,For the aged man of the clouded brow,And the child of tender years;For the empty homes of her goldenplains;For the hope of her future , tooLet me carry Your Cross for Ireland,Lord!For the cause of Roisin Dubh.


NORMA SHOWS HOW"I had much pleasure in listening Thus speaks Norma Ni Chroinin ofto my 84 year old grandmother and Sraid Deal an Atha, Crosmhaoilalsomy 90 year old grandmother, fitiona, Co. Mhuigheo, an'd for herand also many of their old friends excellent perception Norma wontell of the customs and beliefs of the coveted fIrSt prize in thetheir generation, and 1 am very glad Duchas Jissay Competitionto be able to record them here." sponsored by the Sean TreacyBranch of Comhaltas in co~perationwith the Ard-Chomhairle.Norma's. winning project is anexample of what can be achievedthrough dedication, and is worthyof emulation even by those who aremuch older' than herself. Combghairdeas,Norma.Deargdaols, Priests and Strange CatsBy Norma Ni Chr6ininPerhaps one of the greatest fears ofthe Irish people was caused by, their belief in Fairies and evil. powers, and this fear with theorigin of many of the old"CUSIVIIlS" W'ill;U W"'" comn,UII ill our ancestorstime. They were for ever tryingto protect themselves from evil powers.These customs are dying out today butthere are traces of them still in certainareas. Fairies were supposed to livemostly in Forts about rural Ireland and tohaunt certain places and houses. A verypowerful sudden burst of wind thatsprang up suddenly on a very fine daywas called "The Si Gaoth." It wasthought to be caused by the Fairiesmoving from place to place and anyoneknocked down by it was supposed to betaken away by the Fairies and die shortlyafterwards.My Grandmother remembers a day inthe last century when she was a little girlwhile she was at the well with her motherfor water, a delicate old neighbour camealong in great distress and said to hermother "0 a Shiobhain ta me scliabthasa deire, Leag an si-gaoth innili me". Shedied soon after and the whole neighbourhoodwas convinced she had been sweptaway by the Fairies.Incidentally, the local well was a greatplace for meeting and for conversationfor all the women of the locality andmany of these women could carry threebuckets of water at a time- one in eachhand and one on the head , which washeld in place by a scarf or small shawl,formed into a turban and secured on thehead . On this the bucket rested and soperfect was the carriage of these womenthat a drop of water was never spilt.People were very scared of being outafter midnight. They would carry thingslike a quenched coal, some little thingmade of iron, a hazelrod or a grain of saltto protect themselves from the fairies.All Fairy-power was supposed to ceaseat cock-crow, and an old man who in hisyouth used to travel many miles to theSaturday market, in the very early hoursof the morning, by horse and cart toldmy grandfather how one morning he wasaccompanied on his journey by a hugeturkey cock, who walked on the top ofthe wall alongside him to the market. Hewas very frightened as he was convinced"it was the old-boy himself' as he put it.He himself was sweating and his horsewas restive , but as soon as the first cockcrew the turkey-cock disappeared, and allthe "harm" went out of the night, leavinghim a much happier man.Like the turkey-cock certain animalsand insects were under suspicion. Forinstance a hare would be taken' for awoman having taken the form of a hare ,to suck her neighbours cows and takeaway their butter on a May morning.The cat was also under suspicion andmy Grandmother remembers an old taletold by the older generation, when shewas still a child. An old man called on aneighbour one day and said "Ach, aMhicil, labhair an cat areir." He went onto explam how he had bought new shoesfor his family on the previous evening andwas displaying them when he came homefrom town, when the domestic cat whowas looking on very knowingly said"Ach, ca bhfuil mo pheire-sa". The otherman seemed very upset on hearing thisand seemed to understand that this wasno ordinary cat and must be got rid ofbefore he did "harm". He advised theother man to put the cat in a well-tiedsack the next day and to meet himself ata certain point along the road, but notto mention anything apout the cat whenthey met. He would tJren ask what wasin the sack and the man was "not to tellhim for the world" , by the way . Hewould then get very vexed and say well"I'll find but anyway" and start to beatthe sack with a big. stick until the cat wasdead. This was done, the poor cat wasbrutally killed and the mao. and his familywere saved from the "evil creature" .29Fairies were supposed to be very busyon Novembers night, otherwide knownas "Plica night" and wild fruit wouldnever be eaten after that night, becausethe "Plica" was supposed to have soiledthem always on a Novembers night.Df a horse whinnied in his stable atnight or was restive and uneasy, itwas thought the fairies were tryingto attract him away for theirown use. If the horse became sickand died later it was taken that the horsehad been stolen by the fairies.The "Deargdaol" otherwise known asthe "Devils Coach Horse" was always extremelyhated. If seen crawling on thefloor a coal was taken from the fire withthe tongs to "cremate" him. It wasbelieved he betrayed the whereabouts ofour Lord to his betrayers. A bad-mindedperson was often referred to as a "Deargdaol".Certain people were thought to have a"bad eye" in the olden days and peoplewere very wary of such people. If a manwho was believed to have the "bad eye"visited a house where there was a childand if he spat on the floor during his visit.the people of the house would wipe up alittle of the spittle with a bit of cottonand rub it on the child, to counteract thespell of the evil eye , after his departure.A luckpenny was usually given whenan item purchased was being paid for. Inbigger transactions it was more than apenny although still called "The luckpenny" , but in smaller dealings, such asgiving a setting of eggs to a neighbour forhatching and for which money was notchanged, the luck penny was accepted, incase the luck of the fowl went to the: other neighbour's flock.A cow after calving was "churched" inthe olden days. This was carried out bytwo men, who stood one on either side ofthe cow. A tongs holding a red coal fromthe fire was passed from one man to theother under the cow and back over heragain three times. This was done to


~he Musical Bridgeat BellacorrickBeside the Electricity GeneratingStation at Bellacorrick there is a stoneBridge which is known as "The MusicalBridge" . It was built on contract by awell-to-do family who were stone-buildersfrom Lackaduagh some miles west ofBellacorrick. The stones had to be drawnfrom about forty miles away by horseand cart. Sometimes it was only possibleto carry two stones at a time according totheir size and weight. However, when thebridge was about half-built the contractorran out of money and the penalty inthose days for breach of contract wasdeportation. To avoid being deported thefamily left the area overnight as there wasno one to help them out, but beforeleaving the mother went down on herknees and cursed whoever would finishthe bridge.An engineer was later engaged to finishthe bridge , but before the last stone wasplaced he died suddenly. A local manthen took the contract of pointing thebridge but every man he employedsuffered some disaster, some became disabledwhile others died. The contractorhimself became seriously ill for a longtime but he eventually recovered.The last stone has never been put onthe bridge nor has the pointing beendone leaving it purely a stone bridge , sothat when you run a stone along the topof the wall you get a musical sound,hence the name ."The Musical Bridge"which is of great interest today totourists. Nobody today would dare totry to put the last finish to "the MusicalBridge" at Bellacorrick.Uhe old people had great skill inpredicting the weather. When mygrandmother looks out of thewindow and says, "There's a miston top of Sliabh a' Chuirricin" (amountain some distance away) she meansthere is going to be rain. Wheneverthere's a fog with old moon, she uses thesaying " Ni raibh tart ar sean geallachariamh."She also tells me people who live nearthe sea are very good weather experts.They can judge by the different soundsof the sea. She says when she lived nearthe sea there was a small island known as" Fidin" on which a Taidbshe was supposedto live and the old people of thosedays would say "We'll have had weather.Taidbshe Fidim was roaring today." Itwas always accurate but the fact was, thatwhat was really making the noise or"roar" was a buoy out at sea and whenthe wind blew a certain direction, it madethis peculiar sound which people believedwas being made by the Taidbshe.Joe Flaherty an old "Seanachai" wholived here in "Erris St." and died last yearalways claimed that when the wind comesroaring up Poll Gorm (which is a swallowholein the river outside the town) youcan look out for rain and that this sameapplies when Cabhiarsliabh is covered tothe ground in mist, or if there's fog onNephin (mountains in the Crossmolinaarea) but that if Trista is clear you can goto your work.People and animals have a great atmosphericsense and my grandmother saysshe knew people who suffered from headachesand dysentry when ever thunderand lightening were near and she herselfalways suffers from aching bones beforerain.She has her own weather guide, whichis simply a 1 Ib jam jar filled about twothirdswith water, with a smallbaby Power bottle turned downwards insame , so that the neck of the bottlereaches the water. In fme weather thewater moves up into the neck of the jar,but when rain is near the water leveldrops again. This is always dead accurateas it operates on high and low pressure .She says some signs of rain are : If thecat sits with his back to the fire; If thehens are picking themselves or gatheredtogether in a "Cruinneacan" around thedoor; If soot is falling; If the birds,particularly swallows, fly low ; if the sunsets very red ; if flies bother the cattle alot; if smoke blows from the south; ifsea-gulls come inland around the houses;if the distant mountains look near.Here I will mention some good andill omens: Some babies are born with alittle white skin " cap" on their heads. Inthe olden days this was known as the" Caipin Sonais" and children born with itwere considered 'very lucky and thoughtto have a very bnght future in store forthem.It was considered great luck to findthe four-leaved shamrock growing in theground, cut it with a black-handle knifeand place it in the corner of your handkerchieffor good luck.New clothes were put on inside outfirst before wearing out, for the firsttime. This was for luck. A penny wasalso placed in the pocket so that thewearer might never be without money .A pair of new boots or shoes werenever left on the table after purchase ,they were always supposed to be placedon the floor only before being worn.It was considered a very bad omen ifthere was a remains in the church where acouple were getting married, and two ofthe same family would never marrywithin the same year unless on the sameday .A goose would never be hatched in abarn where a mare was being stabled.Soil would never be touched or waterdrawn from the well after sunset.If a person drowned and the bodycould not be found, three sheaves ofoaten straw would be thrown into thewater and they were supposed to floatover where the body was.A type of cactus called "Toirpin" wasusually set to grow under the thatch nearthe eaves of houses. This was considereda great "protection".If a person dropped a knife, fork, orspoon they believed they were going tohave visitors.It was very unlucky to kill a spider orto open an umbrella in the house.Breaking a mirror was supposed tobring seven years' bad luck and if a mirroror picture fell from off tht; wall, it wassupposed to denote a death in the family.It was never considered lucky to turnback when you started out on a journeyeven if you forgot something.It was considered very unsafe to batheor swim at Whitsuntide.The ragworth weed was fairy propertyand people or even animals should neverbe struck with it.If a person spilt salt they were thought"to be in for a disappointment". Thiscould be counteracted by throwing agrain of salt over your shoulder. If achild fell a grain of salt would be placedon its tongue to keep the fairies away .This strange story was told to me bymy Grandfather and his twin sister.When my grantfather was a young boy,himself and his twin-sister were standingin their own yard in the village of Fairfield, when they saw up in the sky acoach or horse-drawn hearse driven by acoachman and bearing a coffin. It continuedon its course until it came over the"Maygownagh" grave-yard where itseemed to descend and disappear. It wasalso seen by other people in the villageand caused much awe and speculation.On the following day news arrived inthe village that a young man from Fairfieldwho had emigrated a short time previously, had been killed in America andhis death has ever since been connectedwith this strange phenonomen.On a night in the early months of1939 the sky over many parts of Irelandturned red and remained so, for manyhours. Many people were very frightened,some thought the end of the worldhad come while others thought they were"The War clouds" which were sometimessupposed to be seen before the outbreakof a war. My grandmother remembersthat many people were convinced of thiswhen "World War II" broke out laterthat year.Finally a tip from a very old woman.Wash your hands in the May morning dewif you want to be dexterous and yourface in same if you want to be beautiful.31


and William Smith O'Brien, but mostin Western Australia.students are quite quick to forget all suchBarmen, and your proverbial man innames immediately after the unpleasant-the street, are often wont to magnifyness of the exam. Proof of this could Boyle O'Reilly's involvement in this miseasilybe confirmed when showing vir-sion which proved to be a great slap intually any Irish youngster the recent post-the face to the British government and aage stamp of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossamorale booster to the Irish in Americaonly to get the standard response: 'who'sand to a lesser degree to those strugglinghe?' People's history, folk history , if youon for the Land League in Ireland underwill, has a great advantage : it makes theMichael Davitt, himself a fellow Fenian.person or event come emotionally aliveSome people would have you believe thatoften through song, story, recitation,O'Reilly planned the whole escape inplays and sometimes tall tales, but onceFreemantle, 'others conjecture that he acheardand embraced few people say:tually took part in the rescue , but the'who's he?'facts are that although O'Reilly wasFor those who would ask this of Johnobviously in on the secret, having beenBoyle O'Reilly , he was arrested in 1866consulted and advised by John Devoy ofas a traitor to the British Government forClan na nGael's plan and the fact thatrecruiting soldiers of the 10th Hussar'sthe man who hired out the Catalpa wasinto the Irish Republican Brotherhood.the very man whom he shared quartersSentenced to death and held in the brutalDartmoor Prison, his sentence was com- CIIARl.ES J KlrKItA~1with on his own flight from Van Dieman'sLand, one Henry Hathaway of Newmuted to life service and he was transpor- and New York stand still for three days. Bedford , Massachusetts. The skipperted to Van Dieman's Land in Western Such a national outpouring of grief whom Hathaway hired was a youngAustralia. On March 3rd, 1869, with the might best be compared in Amaerica to the George Armstrong. Students of truehelp of a Cavan priest, one Father Patrick Kennedy Assassination Mournings, or in people's history would be well advised toMcCabe, he escaped from Bunbury, Aus- Ireland to the funerals of Sean South and read Sean 0 Luaing's book on the Feniantralia Picked up in an open boat by a Fergal O'Hanlon in 1958. The following escape; titled Freemantle Mission, but forNew England Whaler ; he spent two years poem written 3,500 miles away in an age those singers and listeners, who like theirat sea, eventually arriving in Philadelphia before television and radio , ciearly in- emotions swept up by the associations ofin November of 1869 to a hero's dicates the power of the man in the heroes and adventures, two songs shouldwelcome , for Clan na nGael, the Irish America of that day. be kept alive.Republican Brotherhood in America, The spirit of John Boyle O'Reilly how- One of these , titled "The Fenian'sorganised a series of fund raising speeches ever, is very much alive both in Boston Escape" is good history for it mentionsfor the only Fenian to have ever escaped where he died and in Ireland where he the names of the ships involved, itfrom Western Australia. was born. Each June on the Saturday mentions Captain Anthony and the lastJohn Boyle O'Reilly not only had nearest his birthday, June 27th, the names of each of the six Feniansbeen a brave patriot for Ireland, but he A.O.H. along with many other Irish fortunate enough to have escaped thatproved to be a most able orator, writer organisations in the Boston area hear a day . In one verse , the rescuer 'Breslin' isand poet. His reputation as a speaker mass at the grave site in Holyrod Ceme- mentioned; it was this very man who alsofound him in demand for the next 20 tery, Brookline, Mass. Each August on sprung James Stephens out of Richmondyears and after covering the Fenian the Sunday nearest the anniversary of his Prison in 1865. This song "Fenians' Es­Raid on Canada, near St. Alban's, death, August 10th, admirers of O'Reilly cape" is included in Colm O'Lochlainn'sVermont, in the Spring of 1870, he rose in Ireland gather at Dowth Castle bet- 2nd ICollection of Irish Street Balladsfrom reporter of the "Boston Pilot," the ween Slane and Drogheda on the Boyne which unfortunately, has a misprint inlargest Irish newspaper in America, at the River. It was here that the poet patriot the appendix regarding the year of thetime , to the post of editor, soon after thelflSwas born and it was here, also , that he escape , the correct year was 1876 and notBoston fire of 1872 destroyed the had wished to be buried, but his Amer- 1853 as suggested.premises of its publisher, Cavan man, ican-born wife insisted that his remains The second song often called thePatrick Donahoe.JjJbe interred in Boston. "Freemantle Races" or "The CatalpaDuring his reign as editor, a post which many as two hundred observers Ballad" and even "John Boyle O'Reillyhad previous!y been held by the Young come to these ceremonies each and th~ Cat~lpa " comes fr~m western.Irelander, D Arcy MacGee, he became year to pay their respects and AustralIa . It IS a song much like the songclearly the most famous Irishman in listen to noted speakers comment "The Felons of Our Land" in Ireland,America. He defended the civil rights of ' on the heroic romantic life that which was one the Colonial Governmentthe blacks; championed the dignity and John Boyle O'Reilly led. Most of these found so offensive that Police action andrights of the Red Indians and called for followers have probably read one or gaol was threatened to anyone caught sinrespectof the Jews, and these were issues many of the renowned books on the man, ging the ditty. Perhaps that is why thiswhich were not universally popular at the the most famous of these being, "John song of the streets and taverns of Perthtime. He also wrote two novels and Boyle O'Reilly ; His Life , Poems and and Freemantle managed to survive illseveral volumes of poetry, much of it Speeches" by James Jeffery Roches; Western Australia, but unfortunately, it isreproduced in the prestigious American " Seek for a Hero" by William G. Scho- not as well known outside of that part ofliterary magazine , "The Atlantic field; and "John Boyle O'Reilly agus An the world.Monthly ." His own newspaper carried Glor Gael-Mheiriceanach", le Nollaig 0 one version of the song, the mostby-lines by William Butler Yeats and Gadhra (as Gaeilge). But still others have 0 common version, is sung to theOscar Wilde. His tragic death by accid- only heard of O'Reilly through song and tune, Bothny Bay , but a moreental poisoning, when he was only 46 story, the most notable incident of course developed , structured piece wasyears of age , shocked America and vir- being his involvement in the rescue of six collected by Douglas Steward andtually made the world of New England of his fellow prisoners from Freemantle Nancy Keesing and appeared in Riocht33


New Membership FeeIt was announced by the Ard-Chomhairle of Comhaltas at the 1981 AnnualCongress that there would be no increase in membership fees for the year 1981/82.The following new membership fees apply this year (1982/83): £5 ($12) for thefirst adult member of a family-household who will also receive a year's free supplyof "Treoir"; £2 ($8) for all other adult members of a family-household; £1 ($4)for junior members (those under 18 years).The new fees will be divided as follows :£5 ($12)£2 ($ 8)£1 ($ 4)Branch60p ($1)50p ($i)30p (50c)County/Region50p($I)30p ($1)20p (50c)Province50p ($2)30p ($2)20p ($i,)INSURANCE COVER-NEW RATESArd-Chomhairle£3.40 ($8)90p ($4)30p ($2)The Public Liability cover for Comhaltas in Ireland and Britain has now beenincreased 100% to £500,000, and the premium rates for 1982/83 will be increasedto: Branch- £12 ; County Board- £30;Provincial Council £30. These ratesshould accompany Membership Forms for 1982/83.TREOIRThere will be no increase in the cost of "Treoir" for the remainder of the yearbut the following rates will apply as and from the first issue of 1983: single copies70p; Annual SUbscription for Ireland and Britain £5; other European Countries £6U.S.A. and Canada-$1O.Cad is Ainm DiSin i an cheist a chuir an t-oifigeachclliraithe sa Bhruiseal ar eagarthOirpaipeir on mBreatain. "Roisin," arsa ant-eagarthOir, agus e ag deanamh mortaisas a bheith ag tabhairt onora da shliochtEireannach. Ach ni ghlacfadh an chiraitheoirleis an ainm sin, mar nach raibh se ara liosta de ainrnneacha faomhtha. B'eiginteastas a fhail 0 Ambasliid na Breatainnele na chinnti6 gur ainm e Roisin a raibhglacadh leis sa Riocht Aontaithe.In Eirinn agus sa Bhreatain, ta glacadhle ainm ar bith ar phaiste. De reir dli, sedo ainm in Eirinn na e sin a thugtar ort.Is feidir ainm ar bith a thabhairt arphaiste agus is minic gur ainm eile ar fada thugtar air de ghnath, seachas an ceanna bhionn ar a theastas beireatais. Ta se decheart ag duine freisin an leagan Gaeilgeno an leagan Bearla da ainm a 6sliid.Da reir traisisi6in, tugtar sloinne anathar ar phaiste, ach is feidir sloinne namathar a thabhairt air freisin. Mar angceanna, nil aon iachall ar bhean sloinne afir ghlacadh chuici fein , ce go ndeanann90% acu e sin. Is mar a cheile ata an scealsa Riocht Aontaithe.Ta na rialacha a bhaineann le ainm aathr6 liobacilach go maith. Is feidir lepaiste a ainm a athr6 nios deireannai inashaol mas maith leis no lei. Ach d'fheadfadhsagart no ministir di6lt6 ainm airithea bhaisteadh ar leanbh a mba dhoigh leisgo raibh an t-ainm liifeiseach.Tugtar sloinne na mathar do phaistineamhdhlisteanacha, ach ma phOsann anmhathair an t-athair ina dhiaidh sin, isfeidir an staid sin a athru.Ta an dli nios geire i dtiortha eile, achta athru ag teacht. Sa Ghreig, nl morainm a bhfuil glacadh ag an Eaglais leis athabhairt ar leanbh. Nuair a phOsannbean, glacann si ainm a fir, no snadhmannsi a h-ainm fein le na ainm. Faoi'n dlinua, beidh tuismitheoiri in ann ainmseachas ainm Criostai a thabhairt ar abpaiste, agus beidh mna in ann a n-ainmfein a choinneail doibh fein tar eis doibhposadh. Tugtar sloinne an athar ar leanai,agus ar leanai neamhdhlisteanacha, mathugann an t-athair aitheantas d6ibh.I bPoblachi Chonascach na Gearmaine,is feidir le llin6in ainm an fhir no ainm namna a thabhairt ortha fein, de reir an dlisibhialta. Is feidir leis an mbean freisin asloinne fein a chur roirnh shloinne a fIr, idtreo is ma phOsann Frauline Braun HerrSchmidt, d'fheadfadh si an t-ainm FrauBraun-Schmidt a bheith mar ainm uirthiansin. Is gnathach go dtugtar sloinne anathar ar na paisti.-"EORASCAIL".35


The LeitrimFiddler103 TUNES COMPOSEDBY JOE LIDDY£3.00(Post free in Ireland andBritain).Bowing Stylesin IrishFiddle PlayingVOL. 1By David Lyth£3 .00(Po st free in Ireland andBritain).To: CCE., Belgrave Square, Monkstown, Co . Dublin, Ireland.2 BOOKS OF NOTE - ORDER FORM Amount enclosed : £- - - -------Please forward to me (tick your requirements): $------o The Leitrim Fiddler (£3.00)OBowing Styles in Irish Fiddle Playing (£3.00)(Post free in Ireland and Britain)Narre:Address: ________________ _, _ ______________ _ _ __ _______ __ _ __•_ ________.____ ___ _______.........J


AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSEBUILD UP YOUR OWN LIBRARY.. •• MAKE FUNDS FORYOUR BRANCH.. ..AN IDEAL GIFT FOR YOUR FRIENDSo A GLIMPSE OF THE REAL IRELAND: TICK THE 10 L.Ps. OF YOUR CHOICEMusic and so ng from 1980 Tour Group:Joe Burke, Treasa Ni Cheannaigh, Sean o THE PURE GENIUS OF JAMESMontgomery, Sean MacMahon and MORRISON: Masterpieces of Irishothers.fiddling.o CEOL AN CHLAIR: Fiddle music from 0 THE FIRST MONTH OF SPRING:Co. Clare.o TOM PHAIDIN TOM: Amhranaiocht aran sean-nos.o THE GREEN GROVES OF ERIN:1981 Tour Group with Kevi!) Glackin,Maire Ni Chathasaigh, Marcus 0 hlarnainJirnmy McG reevy, Rita Gallagher andothers.o MO ROISIN DUBH : Breandan 0 Duill­Songs, Poems and Readings.o LUCKY IN LOVE: Flute and fiddlemusic by Charlie Lennon, MickO'Connor and friends.o IS IT YOURSELF? Paddy O'Brien(button accordeon) ; J ames Kelly ,(fiddle); and Daithi Sprould (guitar andvocals).DANDY McGANN & PADDYREYNOLDS: Fiddle duet.o CRONIN & BURKE: Fiddle & Banjo.DANDY McGANN & PAUL BRADY:Fiddle & Guitar.Fiddle and guitar music in the Sligo style 0 THE FLOWING TIDE: Chris Droneyfrom John Vesey and Paul Brady. and traditional music from Co. Clare.o PADDY CARTY AND MICK 0 NOEL HILL & TONY LINNANE:O'CONNOR: Reels and J igs in the Fiddle and concertina.Galway manner.o PADDY KILLORAN'S BACK INTOWN: Classic recordings of one of thegreat Irish fiddlers.o TRmUTE TO COLEMAN : Joe Burke,(button accordeon) ; Andy McGann,(fiddle); and Felix Dolan (piano).o WHEELS OF THE WORLD: Classics ofIrish traditional music with PatsyTuohey, Michael Coleman, James Morrisonand other legendary performers.o THE CLASSIC RECORDINGS OFMICHAEL COLEMAN.o JOHN BOWE & MARY CONROY:Button accordeon and guitar.o KISS ME KATE: Liz Carroll andTommy Maguire; fiddleaccordeon.To : CCE., Belgrave Square, Monkstown, Co. Dublin, Ireland.and buttono GALWAY'S OWN - Joe Burke.o TWO CHAMPIONS: Joe Burke andSean Maguire.o COMHALTAS CHAMPIONS ON TOUR:1976 Comhaltas Tour Group with JoeBurke, Paddy Giackin, SeamusMacMathuna, Anne Brolly and others.Please enclose the 10 L.Ps. which I have ticked above; and I understand that theyare postage free in Ireland and Britain.I enclose £25.Name:(block letters)----------------------------------Address: (block letters ) ________________________________ _


The Minister Was RightIn 1971 the then Minister for Tran­Port, Mr. Brian Lenihan. T.D., launchedthe. now famous "Seisiun" scheme. Atthat time there were six venues for sixweeks and this has now grown to fortyvenues for eight weeks covering the fourprovinces. It has been one of the greatestsuccess stories of the cultural/touristscene, and there is now a possibility thata similar scheme may be initiated in theSix Counties.This year, in spite of gloom-and-doompredictions, "Seisiim" has again comethrough with flying colours, and the propheticannouncement by the Ministereleven years ago have been provedcorrect.At the time Mr. Lenihan said:"The scheme of hotel entertainmentarose from discussions which I hadwith Comhaltas Ceolt6irf Eireann andBord Fciilte on the importance of providinghotel entertainment that is distinctivelyIrish with the necessary highquality which commands universalappeal."In a difficult period of tourism it isall-important to fight back and giveeverything that we have got. We as apeople being ourselves, and giving ourbest in conversation, entertainmentand humanity are the greatest touristasset in the world. I wish that more ofour own people North and Southwould appreciate this message , as outsidersunderstand it, rather than chasethe sandy mirages of cluttered beachesin other lands."In the past there was a noticeablelack of formal visitor entertainment,and we are now seeking to remedy thesituation. An Comhaltas, with encouragementand assistance from BordFailte, are initiating for a trial periocof six weeks two pilot schemes. As,result of this experience I hope to havea planned and permanent programmein the immediate future whereby theentire country will be adequately servicedwith first-class traditionalmusical entertainment of the kind thatwe can be proud to present to visitorsfrom overseas."Comhaltas Ceolt6irf Eireann wish togenerate an inte,rest among our overseasvisitors in our national music,which will serve as a stepping stone toother Irish cultural interests. Thesemusical gatherings will give amplescope for exposing the Irish characteristicsof friendliness, good humour andhospitality to our overseas visitors.The provision of adequate entertainmentis complementary to BordFailte's policy of promoting destinationactivities so that visitors haveplenty to engage them during theirstay among us."Bord F{lilte are always very happy toadvise and assist in any way possibleany worthwhile projects to provide en-tertainment. The benefits to bederived from such schemes are notconfmed exclusively to visitors but areof value to the community. Thenation's sentiments are expressed in itsmusic and songs and the preservationand cultivation of this very importantpart of our national heritage deservesevery support. I should not concludewithout a word of praise for ComhaltasCeolt6irf .Eireann for the wonderfulwork they have undertaken in thisfield since their inception."COLOURFULIHOW OF IRIIHTRADITIONALMUSIC.~j IONGANDDANCE&)TAille: £1.5036


Na Midhe in an article bv Ormond D.1"'. Waters in 1 'J71.1 ne air IS coghaneoir' or 'The Boys of Kilmichael'. ThePerth Regatta was an event much like theDingle Regatta or Cahirciveen Regatta.The Fenians made well their escape thatday because most of the warders were atthe Perth Regatta some 20 miles away.The third verse relates Captain GeorgeAnthony's refusal to allow a British shipto search an American vessel on the highseas; thus the smaller, less armed, whalingship escaped under protection of internationallaw. When singing the chorus,keep in mind that O'Reilly was safe inBoston at the time; he had escaped sevenyears earlier, but all that's "history".THE FREEMANTLE RACESA noble whale ship, the CatalpaHer Captain, George Anthony, they say,She came out to Western AustraliaAnd took six poor Fenians away,For seven long years they had servedthere (here)Meet Kevin FinneganSettle back and be comfortablewhile I introduce you to KevinFinnegan. Kevin has just finishedhis ftrst year as the CanadianCo-ordinator of An Comhaltasand was in the "chair" at theannual Canadian Conference held inMontreal earlier this year. It hasbeen a busy and successful year forKevin as Co-ordinator, what withorganizing the 1982 Conference,the 1981 annual Concert Tourthrough Montreal, Ottawa,Kingston and Toronto, etc. and theease with which Kevin took up hisnew Comhaltas duties (he waschairman of the Toronto branch ofAn Comhaltas when he assumed theposition of Co-ordinator) is veryunderstandable when you look atthis man's background-read on.Kevin was born in Liverpool,England in 1942, his mother beingfrom Ballinamore, Co . Leitrim andhis father from Dublin. When hewas about 17 years of age he wasintroduced to, and joined theLiverpool branch of An Comhaltasat the time when the branch stillmet in the front parlour of PeggyAtkins house.Noted in Comhaltas circles inCanada as one of our frnestaccordian players, Kevin wasinfluenced a great deal by threeother accordian maestros LiamGreenall, Tomas 0 Canainn and thelate Sean Murphy and what aninfluence it was-as anyone who hasheard Kevin play will agree.At this time also, Kevin met, andlater married Marie Meakin whosefamily roots are to be found inBlackwater, Co. Wexford-and themusical influence mentioned abovehas now acquired all the signs ofbecoming a musical dynastybecause their three children, Liam15 years, Karen 14 and Patricia 3years are following in their father's"notesteps", Liam plays thewhistle, Karen the whistle and thepipes, and Patricial I am reliablyinformed is sure to be a greatdancer and musician".After serving as the Liverpoolbranch chairman, touring NewYork with the Liverpool Ceili band,making a number of L.Ps- Marieand Kevin severed the Liverpoolconnection by emigrating toMilton Gust outside Toronto),Ontario, and Liverpool's lossbecame Canada's gain. Kevin'spresence in the Toronto area is asignificant factor in the ongoingthriving Comhaltas branch that isnow to be found in the city ofToronto.And what does Kevin do in hisspare time you ask? well during theweek he is to be found at theMilton High School where he is thePrincipal, and if there is a folkfestival in the area, or a feis , he canusually be found there with hisaccordion spreading the "word."Like to meet him?? then make sureyou're in Listowel for the 1982Fleadh Cheoil as I hear he will bethere, accordian and all, and witha little luck the undersigned won'tbe too far behind him-drop byand say hello!SlanBrian BreathnachAnd seven more had to stay,For defending their country, old Ireland,For that they were banished away.Chorus:Then ?ere's to brave John Boyle O'Reilly,Who fust blazed the trail o'er the seaBy escaping from Bunbury to BostonAnd vowing his comrades to free.Come all you screws, warders and gaolersand remember Perth Regatta Day, ,TlIke care of the rest of your FeniansOr the Yankees will steal them away!You kept them in Freemantle Prison,Til their hair had begun to turn greyTil that yank from the shores of NewBedfordCame out here and stole them away.The Freemantle Yachts were aracingAnd making short tacks for the spotThe Catalpa sailed close in by RockinghamAnd took the first prize of the lotThen the 'Georgette' well armed withbold warriors,Set out those brave Yanks to arrestBut she hoisted her star-spangled bannerSaying 'You will not board me I guess'.So remember those Fenian ColonialAnd sing over these verses with pride,And remember the Yankee who stolethemAnd bore them away O'er the tideNow they've landed safe in AmericaAnd there will be able to say (cry)'Hoist up the green flag of Eireann,Hurrah for the bold Clan na nGael(Old Ireland we'll die)Words in parenthesis are sometimessubstituted i.e. "And there will be able tocry and Hurrah for Old Ireland we 'll die.34JAMJfS S'f}


PIPING HIS W'A Y TO EUROPEThe 1982 uilleann pipes champion isMichael Cooney of Co. Tipperary.Michael had an impressive win at therecent Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann inListowel. For this fme young piper - amember of the Loughmore Branch ofCornhaltas - it proved to be a doublegood fortune : not only has he won thecoveted All-Ireland title but he will alsotravel to Luxembour as a guest of therecently formed Comhaltas Branch. Bailo Dhia ort, a Mhichfl.A full report on Fleadh Cheoil nahEireann will be published in the nextissue of "Treoir".Lltreacha--------.---:.. ..... ~ - ~ - . -........ -.John BoyleO'Reillyand theFreemantle RacesBy Dick McHugh:mJh' prim,,-y cliff",n" b"w"n th'T. I1cademic "name and date"history and people's history, isthat in the first instance, the emphasisseems to be in recalling aname with some particular reference dateor place in history, such as a battlefieldor a disaster of some sort; the reason forwanting to recall these associations underacademic circumstances usually is the desireto pass the examination or make ahigh grade. People's history, however, isa sincere, if emotional attempt to keepthe memory of certain events and peoplealive in the conscious memory of succeedinggenerations. A case in point involvesthe County Meath man, John Boyle-O'Reilly, who was born to school teacherparents during the famine and died inAmerica in 1890.Virtually all text books do mentionJohn Boyle O' Reilly, whether these textbooks are of the revisionist era or theolder, blood and guts, super nationaliststyle, but in either case , O'Reilly isusually tucked within a list of "prominentFenians" such as James Stephens,John Devov. Jeremiah O'Donovan RossaIrish Wheelchair AssociationJust a note to thank you mostsincerely for all your supportduring our Donncha Ireland Walk.The whole trip went very well andto date we have £18,600 in thefund.The success of the venture waslargely due to all the support wegot from Cornhaltas round thecountry and I would like you toexpress our appreciation to all thebranches concerned.With renewed thanks for yourinterest.PETER STOKESDeputy Chief Executive Officer ­ResourcesA MAN OF STYLE8 Beechvalley,Dungannon,Co. TyroneWe, the Dungannon Branch, wish tosend a get well message to Johnny Comacfrom Mullaghmore , Dungannon, who hasbeen ill now for some time.Johnny is very well known throughoutIreland for his distinct style of fiddleplaying: It is true to say that whenJohnny Comac joins a session the wholetempo changes to that nice easy pace. Hehas always been a great admirer ofMichael Coleman and one of his favouritetunes is the "Sligo Maid ."Attracta Nic Dhiarmada(Runai)32JEREMIAH O'DONOVAN ROSSA


ensure that the cow sufferen no ill-effectsfrom the fairies after calving.A red rag was usually tied to a cow'stail just before she calved to bring herselfand her calf safe .If an animal was thought to haveworms, a "worm-knot" was made overthe animals back by a special person whohad this cure . Ring-worm was also curedby such people. A seventh son alwayshad some special cure , or a child whosefather had died before it was born.And old saying when a new calf wasborn was "God bless three times and aspit for luck."Home CuresThis created a vacuum and when the glasswas pulled away after a certain length oftime, the bone sprang back into place bythe suction. Like the bonesetter therewas a certain man in the area who wasskilled in "lifting the Ch!ithin" as it wascalled .A dead fox's tongue was always cutout and used to extract a thorn from theflesh by placing it on same for some time.Whooping Cough or "triuch" as it wascalled then, could be cured by a manriding by on a white horse. When askedhe would usually suggest somethingsimple. My Grandmother remembers aman who suggested boiling sheeps manurein milk and giving the juice of same to thechild which must bave been very unpleasant.People did not bother with the doctor The head is usually measured to curevery much for their ailments in the olden a headache. People claim they feel thedays and many local cures were available head contract when it is measured. Afor pains, etc. garlic was cut into slices woman in Fotish Crossmolina still carriedand placed inside the soles of a persons out this cure.shoes until the smell of the garlic could Ear-piercing was usually done at homebe got from the persons breath. By then in the olden days. This is how my grandtheperson was cured.mother did it when she was a young girl.Broken bones were fixed by the local She placed a piece of flat cork at the backBonesetter. My Grandfather, Michael of the ear and pushed a darning needle ,Cronin was a Bonesetter in Crossmolina threaded with oiled yarn through the lobeup to his death . He was a skilful man of the year. She left the thread a fewwho could put the bone back into place inches long and knotted it. She pulledwith one simple twist of the injured limb . the thread back and forth a few inchesFinger, or ankle as the case might be. In every day, using black tea several times athe case of a broken limb he made his day to prevent infection, until the earsown plaster. He would mix flour and were no longer sore or swollen. She thenbeaten eggs and then set the bone in the pulled out the thread and proudly put inplaster. It set really hard and kept the her earings.bone in place until it had set properly Goosegrease was rubbed into leatheragain . Sometimes he used splints and he boots to make them waterproof. It waswas sometimes asked to set bones for also rubbed into sprains or pulled musclesanimals, it was most successful and results to limber them. When geese were killedwere much better than breakages, etc. at Christmas, their fat was put into an oldattended to in hosptials. This is consi- jam jar and kept in same for usedered to be a gift that has been passed on throughout the year when required .in our family for many generations. ~ person who licked a lizard wasDaundice was als.o treated at ~ said to have a cure for a burn, nohome. Only certain people knew ~ matter how severe. A very oldhow to make up this bottle which lady who. lives in Enniscrone .toldis made from the bark of the me that ill her youth she SPilt a_ Barbery tree and some other in-pot of boiling soup on her leg and thegredient. It is made in this area by a man pain was almost unbearable. There livedin Killalla, who lives about six miles from near by a man who had licked a lizardthe town. It did not cure all kinds of and was known to have this cure. SheJaundice as there are several types, but sent for him and he licked the burnedfor a certain type it was the most effect- area all over. The severe pain immediative.ely went and it also began to heal straightThrush (a disease of the mo uth) was a way.cured by getting a white gander to A cobweb was used to heal sores andscreech three times into the patients wounds. (It is now known that a cobwebmouth.contains penicillin although this was longOil of a roasted onion was used to cure years before its time).an earache.Starch was obtained from raw potat-A dislocation of the breast bone was oes by crushing them. The liquid thusknown as a "Ch!ithin" and it was caused obtained made an excellent starch. Starbylifting heavy weights. This was cured ching was a very common and timebyleaving alighted candle over the breast consuming job in Grannies time. Whitebone, over which a glass or cup was frilly caps, bonnets, white shirts, apronsplaced facing downwards over the candle. and linens, etc. were starched regularly .In the olden days when fuel was scarcein Summer-time it was common to collecthard dry cow-dung to be burned as fuel.This was known as " B6ireach" and itmade an excellent fire in the open hearth.It was used to boil pots and was placedon the lid of the oven to bake bread forwhich it was particularly suitable.It was considered a very bad thing tobe too friendly with the clergy. Peoplewere very much afraid of their power. Apriest my grandmother knew advised aman who was very friendly with him, notto become too much so , for his own sake.If a person had a row with a priest andthe priest wipes his feet on the thresholdof the door, leaving the persons house,this was regarded as a terrible curse andstories are told about the misfortunesthat befell the victims of such curses.A neighbour of my grandmother wasill with T .B., so her husband sent for thepriest (who was known to cure) to prayover her. When the priest came heordered the man to put the best bullockhe had on the land into his shed. Theman did so and the priest began to prayover the sick woman. While he was prayingthe man got suspicious and beinggreedy let the beast out again. When thepriest had finished he asked to see thebeast in the shed. The man told him hehad let the beast out and the priest said"you've done it on me" and died a shorttime later. It was generally believed if aperson was so cured, something else hadto go in his or her place.People were cut off from the Churchfor different offences. This was done ina special ceremony known as "TheCoinneal Bliite" in which a lighted candlewas quenched- Hence the name of theceremony. The person was then regardedas an outcast. Such an incident is stilltalked about in the Ballycastle area.There was an old saying "Don't be toonear or too distant with the clergy".People were even afraid of the breeze thatblew from a vexed priest's cloak.People were also very much afraid ofinterfering with a widow or orphans. Awidows curse was supposed to bringmuch misfortune and stories are told ofhow such curses were carried on even tolater generations. Grandad knew of aman who took over a farm from a widowand her family . Later when the man'sdaughter was bereaved of her husbandyoung in life , the bereavement wasblamed on the fact that the father hadtaken over the widow's farm manyyears before. It was thought to be hispunishment.A widow's prayer or blessing wasconsidered of the greatest inportance andwhen a girl was entering a convent tobecome a nun, her people usually tried toget seven widows to pray for her, that shewould persevere in her vocation.30


ugadh Bamon'.. Ceannt de reir thromlachna tUairiScl cl scriobhadh faoi. Ta insint~ile , amh, ag muintir dheisceart ThioqraidArann ar an sceal, ag muintir Bheal AthaPoirin ach go hairithe. B'a~ Ghleann a'Chonnaidh, gar do BMal Atha POirin,d'athair Eamoinn Ceannt a bhi ina bhalldon R.I.C. Bhi an fear seo agus a bhancMilelonnaithe i gCo. na Gaillimhe faoi1881 . An sceal a chuala me 0 chuid de naseandaoine thart faoi Bheal Atha Poirinna go raibh tuismitheoiri Ceannt ar saoiresa tsean-ait in 1881 nu air a rugadhEamonn. Ta se sin creidte i gconai agmuintir an duiche sin. Deirtear freisin gurardaigh tuismitheoiri Eamonn Ceannt aseolta roinnt bheag laethanta ina dhiaidhsin gur bhain siad a d teach fein i mBaileMosha amach aris. Deirtear aris go dtainigEamonn Ceannt ar saoire go Gleann a'Chonnaidh uair no dho le linn a oige .Dealraionn se go raibh Gaeilge ag atharEamonn Ceannt agus ba choir go mbeadh.~hi an teanga a labhairt thart faoi BhealAtha Poirin go dti deireadh an cheid seocaite. Is cosuil freisin go raibh roinnt eiginGaeilge a labhairt fos sa cheantar inGaillimh inar raibh clann Cheannt lonnaithe.D'aistrigh ,an chlann go Bhaile AthaCliath agus Eamonn fos ina bhuachaillog. Fuair se a chuid oideachais i Scoil namBraithre (Scoil Ui Chonaill) i Sraid RisteamainnThuaidh agus i gColaiste nahOllscoile , Ath Cliath. Cheangail se leConradh na Gaeilge agus e fos ins nadeaga. Chaith se cuid mhaith da chuidama saoir ag muineadh Gaeilge agranganna an Chonartha agus b'eifeachtachan t-oide e gan aon ago. Ni ga a ra go~aibh sar-liofacht cainte aige agus bhi sear a chum as an teanga a scriobh go rimhaithfreisin , mar a chruthaigh se aguse i mbun pinn don Barr Buadh (paipearGaeilge an Phiarsaigh) ar ball.Bhi post brea seasmhach aige la BardasAtha Cliath. Phos se Aine Ni Bhraonain i1905. I nGaeilge a posadh iad.Cheana fein bhi cail bainte amach agBamonn mar phiobaire brea. Bhi seorthu siud a bhunaigh Cumann na bPiobair~ i mi Feabhra, 1900. Eisean a bhimar runai ag an gCumann agus bhi se marghnas aige riamh miontuairiscl na gcruinnithea scriobh agus a leamh amach inGaeilge amhain. (Smaonigi nach raibhse sin a dheanamh ag aon eagras eile , fiuag Conradh na Gaeilge ag an am!). Sarphiobairea bhi ann, de reir dealrairnh ,agus ghnothaigh se dha dhuais ag Oireachtas1906. Bhi ard speis aige freisinsan amhranaiocht ar an sean-nos agusd'eagraigh se ranganna i seomraiChum ann na bPiobairi d' fhonn na healaionasin a chothu.Eisean a sheinn an uaill caointe oscionn uaigh an og-udar Gaeltachta,Micheal Breathnach, ar 30 DeireadhFomhair, 1908. Eisean friesin a sheinnar na piobai os comhar an Phapa, Pius X,sa Roimh an bhliain cManna. ScriobhJohn Brennan (Dublin's Fighting Story)faoin ocaid stairiuil seo:"In 1908 he accompanied a group ofIrish athletes to Rome, where they werecompeting at the Jubilee celebrations inhonour of His Holiness Pope Piu x X.While there he refused to speak a word ofEnglish, and made his way through theEternal City by using French, Latin andbroken Italian. Word of him was broughtto His Holiness, who summoned Ceanntto perform in his presence. With the Irishpilgrims who were assembled at theVatican for the occasion, were many oldIrish priests, long exiled from Ireland.When in the distance was heard the skirlof the pipes coming nearer and nearer,and the tall Irish piper entered andmarched up the room playing 'TheWearing of the Green' , the emotion ofsome of the old priests was so great thatthey burst into tears."~eas Eamon i Ceannt ar son cheartna mban, labhair se amach ar sonna noibrithe aimsir na Stailceoire i 1913, bhi se chun tosaighi ngluaiseacht na Gaeilge agusd'oibrigh se go dicheallach ins na hOglaighagus i mBraithreachas na Poblactagur ghlac se a ait chui sa deireadh marcheannaire in Eiri Amach na Casca.Throid se go croga sa m,BochtlannTheas go dtainig an geilleadh. E fein agusa dhluthchara Tomas Mac Donncha anbheirt cheannaire ba dheinreannai agM ill , dala an sceal.Sa litir ba dheireannai dar scriobh se,bhi an meid seo le ra aige: "I leave (orthe guidance of other ~ r:evolutionarieswho may tread the path which I havetrod, this advice , never to treat with theenemy, never to surrender at his mercy ,but to fight to a finish . I see nothinggained but grave disaster caused by thesurrender which has marked the end ofthe Irish Insurrection of 1916 - so far atleast as Dublin is concerned. The enemyhas not cherished one generous thoughtfor those who, with little hope, with poorequipment and weak in numbers, withstoodhis forces for one glorious week.Ireland has shown she is a Nation. Thisgeneration can claim to have raised someas brave as any that went before, and inthe years to come Ireland will honourthose who risked all for her honour atEaster in 1916. I bear no ill will towardsthose against whom I fought ......'I wish to record the magnificent gallantryand fearless, calm determination ofthe men who fought with me. All, allwere simply splendid. Even I knew nofear nor panic and shrunk from no risk,even as I shrink not now from the deaththat faces me at daybreak. I hope to seeGod's face even for a moment in themorning. His will be done."Fuair Eamonn Ceannt, sar-phiobaireagus sar-Ghael bas ar son na saoirse ar 826Bealtaine, 1916. Ma ta teacht arphiobairi i measc chor na n-aingeal arNeamh, is cinnte go bhfuil Eamonn leo .Ni ionann agus Bamonn Ceannt,thainig Tomas Aghas sI an as Seachtain naCasca. Daoradh chun bais e i dtus baire,ar ndoigh, ach nior cuireadh an bhreith igcrich. Ach ba mheasa Jlr fad an ide atugadh do Thomas caoin Aghas an bhliaindar gcionn nuair a d'eag se ar son nahBireann in asp ideal an Mater i mBaileAtha Cliath. Bas uafasach a d'fhulaing se,bas uaigneach a chuir alltacht ar a chomradaitheagus ar gach einne a chreid inideal na saoirse.Ar 12 Eanair, 1885, a rugadh e san aitfionilainn ud Cinn Aird i gCorca Dhuibhne. Bhi an Ghaeilge agus an Gaelachasthart timpeall air i ngach cearn da pharoistedhuchasach. Bhi, agus sprid nasaoirse. Nior gheill clann Aghais na agcuid comharsana do reimeas Shasanariamh. D'fhas Tomas suas i dtimpeallachtlan-Ghaelach. Bhi na sean-scealta, nasean-amhrain agus an ceol duchasach imbeil gach einne sa cheantar. Cent-iontas go ndearna se fein beart ar balldon gceol traisisiunta agus do na cluichiGaelacha.Tar eis do roinnt bliana a chaitheamhmar mhonatoir in a cheantar fein, chuaighse isteach i gColaiste de la Salle i bPortLiirge gur bhain se gradam muinteoraamach in 1907.Tar eis do breis beag agus leathbhliaina chaitheamh ag muineadh i Min Aird ,gar da ait dhuchasach fein , d'aistrigh sego Cor Dubh laimh le Lusca i dTuaisceartCho. Atha Cliath ar 6 Marta, 1908.Ni fhada ann e gur thosaigh se ag duI ibhfeidiun ar mhuintir na haite. Bhi segniomhach i gcursai peile agus iomanaiochta.Gan tracht ar chursai piobaireachta!Duirt cara leis (an CoirnealSeosamh Laighleis):"Niorbh fhada gur glacadh leis marthreorai agus mar cheannaire i gcursailuthchleasa agus saiochta agus naisiuntachtai nduiche Lusca. Is beag ma bhiaon duine eile ba mho faoi deara an clu abhi ar phiobairi agus ar iomanaithe Luscasan am. N ior choigeal i lairnh oinsicaman aige fein, agus ba mhaith an sas echun bheith i gcomhar le buachailli Luscadaoine a bhi i dtaithi na hiomanaiochta 0dhuchas. Is iomai pairc irneartha ar arthreoraigh an tAghasach chun bua iad, athuaradh cheana fein do go bhfeadfadh seiad a threoru chun na bua mileata arphairc an chatha._ "Ar na feidhmeannais ar thog antAghasach idir lamha i Lusca 0 thosachbhi 'Piobairi an FMich Dhuibh' Ar afheabhas a bhi a gcuid cheoil, lena n­eide ealaionta- filleadh beag agus ionarban faoi ghreasobair- agus lena meirgemor ban agus an ' Fiach Dubh ar eitilt'uirthi. Nior mhiste a lua ar lucht nabuine sin nach raibh fiu fear amhainorthu nar dhein liostail sna hbglaigh ar


Songs and Airsof Mother1783-1850Le Uinsin 0 DonabhainWilliam Carleton was an Irish historianof the 18th century Ireland . He was anative of Tyrone, the heart of the greatUlster plantation. Gaelic as well as Englishwas widely still used and the differentcreeds, parties and loyalties of Irelandwere all strongly represented there, sideby side. Carlton was forced to write asdid W. B. Yeats many years later, "I writefor a class who wish to laugh a great deal,and do not mind weeping a little pro'videdI allow them always to keep their sense ofsuperiority. The history of a nation isnot in parliaments, neither is it in battlefields,but in what the people say to eachother on fair days and on high days, andhow they farm and quarrel and go on pilgrimage.""My mother whose name was Kelly ,"he writes, "- Mary Kelly- possessed thesweetest and most exquisite of humanvoices. In her early life I had often beentold by those who had heard her sing,that any previous intimations of her presenceat a wake, dance or other festiveoccasion, was sure to attract crowds ofpersons, many from a distance of severalmiles, in order to hear from her lips thetouching old airs of their country. Nosooner was it known that she wouldattend any such meeting than the factspread through the neighbourhood likewild-fire, and the people flocked from allparts to hear her just as the fashionableworld do now when the name of someeminent songstress is announced in thepapers, with this difference , that uponsuch occasions the voice of the one fallsupon the ear, whilst that of the othersinks into the heart. She was not so wellacquainted with the English tongue as myfather, though she spoke it with sufficientof ease for all the Pl!rposes of life , and forthis reason among others, she generallygave the old Irish version of the songs inquestion, rather than the English ones.This, however, as I said was not her solemotive. In the first place she had severalold songs which at that time- I believetoo f may add at this- had never beentranslated and I very much fear thatsome valuable ones, both as to words andairs may have perished with her. Herfamily were all imbued with a poeticalspirit and some of her immediate ancestorscomposed in the Irish tongue somefine old songs in the same manner as didO'Carolan- that is some in praise of a patronor a friend of others to celebrate rusticbeauties, that have long since beensleeping in the dust. For this reason, shehad many old compositions that were almostpeculiar to our family . I am afraidthey could not now be procured at all andare consequently lost. I think her uncleandI believe her grandfather, were theauthors of several Irish poems and songs,because I know that some of them shesang and others she recited.Independently of this, she had a prejudiceagainst singing the Irish airs toEnglish words; an old custom of thecountry was thereby invaded , and anassociation disturbed which habit hadrendered dear to her.I remember on one occasion when shewas asked to sing the English version ofthat touching melody, "The Red-HairedMan's Wife" , she replied: "I will sing itfor you; but the English words and the airare like a quarrelling man and his wifetheIrish melts into the tune but theEnglish doesn't ." An expression less remarkablefor its beauty than its truth.She spoke the words in Irish. This gift ofsinging with such sweetness and power ofold sacred songs and airs of Ireland, wasnot the only one for which she was remarkable.Perhaps there never lived ahuman being capable of giving the Irishcry , or "Keene", with such exquisiteeffect, or of pouring into its wild notes, aspirit of such irresistable pathos andsorrow. I have often been present when"Surely the time has come for a majorre-think on the significance of folkloreand local history in the school curriculain contemporary Ireland. The vastreserves of local history which encapsulatethe unique character of both ruraland urban Ireland, have yet to find theirway on to the Leaving Certificate syllabus,which hitherto has been top heavywith World War campaigns and colonels."This was stated by Gearoid b hAllmhurdinat the 1982 Tionol Cheoil. Continuinghe said:-"The distinction between history andfolklore has never been a particularlyclear one. Generations of academics sincethe beginning of western historiography,have attempted to answer the question"What is history"? yet little or no considerationhas been given to the question,"What is folklore"? nor indeed to thequestion of whether or not there is areciprocal relationship between historyand folklore.Because of the growth of populareducation in the late 18th century, andthe corresponding growth of new politicalidealogies, history tended to move outshe has "raised the Keene" over thecorpse of some relative or neighbour, andmy readers may judge of the melancholycharm which accompanied this expressionof her sympathy, when I assure them thatthe general clamour of violent grief wasgradually diminished from admiration,until it became ultimately hushed and novoice was heard but her own- wailing insorrowful but solitary beauty.I am the youngest of 14 children, andof course could never have heard her untilage and the struggle of life had robbedher voice of its sweetness. I heardenough, however, from her sweet lips, toset my heart to an almost painful perceptionof the spirit which steeps these fmeold songs in a tenderness which no othermusic possesses. Many a time of a Winternight , when seated at her spinning wheelsinging "An Trougha" or "Siuil a Ghra"or some other old song of sorrow, have I,then little more than a small child goneover to her and with a broken voice andeyes charged with tears whispered,'Mother dear, don't sing that song, itmakes me too sorrowful'. She thenusually stopped and sung some one whichI liked better because it made my heartmore gleeful. At present I myself am inpossession of many old Irish airs whichnone of our best antiquaries in Irishmusic have ever heard except throughme ."FolkloreThe Real Historyof its traditional mould and become verymuch the reserve of the factualist, whowas concerned mainly with political systems,ideas and movements. In the twocenturies which have followed , the academichistorian is still primarily concernedwith the facts of political systems and inmore recent times economic culture, bothof which depend extensively on narrativeor written sources. However, the vastreserve of oral history more popularlyknown as folklore, which exists outsidethe ambit of the narrative source, hasbeen left to the Anthropologist and thefolklore collector to record or reject as hechooses.Because of this highly polarised attitudewhich sees folklore as a semi-mythologicalphenomenon and history as anagent of recording very selective andoften over-politicised data, the rich localcharacter of the many archaic societieswhich have survived on the fringes of industrialisedEurope is in danger of seriousneglect. This is equally true for the ruralor non-industrialised population ofIreland as it is for the people on theOuter Hebrides, the fjords of Norway orthe Magyars of South-Eastern Europe.24


STAFFAs the new complex at Culturlann nahEireann nears completion, plans forappropriate staff are being considered­Entertainments Manager, MaintenancePerson, Bar Manager, Chef,. Book-keeper.If you are interested please let us know.For Diarmuid 0 Cath3in October willmean a double anniversary . TheComhaltas Projects Officer from Lixnaw ,Co . Kerry, has been selected as Managerfor the 1982 North American ConcertTour, a position he filled with distinctionfor the first Tour over 11 years ago. Andthe second anniversary? Diarmuid'sbirthday will occur- as it did , of course ,eleven years ago! - in the course of theTour. In fact , one of his most prizedmementoes is a rather evocative birthdaycard signed by all the members of thatfirst Tour. We reproduce the card- minusits vivid colours-and we are sure our captionwriters will have plenty of scope fortheir fertile imagination. How about " Isthat drum out of tune?" or " Birthday((~ili Bands" . If we receive any good captionsfrom our readers we might evenaward a prize or two •••• Our photographerJohn Kennedy has been at itagain! You will recall that in our lastissue we published two " discoveries"which John has made in his den and nowhe has come up with another interestingitem- the distinguished looking piper22


A Glimpse of the McCallsBy Gear6id b BroinSixty two years ago Ireland's muchlovedballadeer, Patrick J. McCall, passedaway suddenly at his home,"Westpoint", in Sutton, Co. Dublin- ashe stood excitedly at his halldoor watchingan aeroplane pass overhead. He wasthen only 58 years of age. According to aDublin newspaper he died intestate,leaving assets valued at £70,000, includinga Library of rare Irish publications. Buthe bequeathed to posterity a life-longCollection of over 3,500 Irish ballads, and250 Poems of his own composition.By all accounts "P.1." was of a shyand retiring disposition, and did notmarry until he was almost forty years ofage . He was then oflow stature, stockilybuilt, with dark features, piercing browneyes, and a fme moustache. But heinstantly fell for the pretty looks ofMargaret Furlong, sister of Alice , the renownedPoetess, who was then living at37 South Frederick Street, Dublin.Living relatives depict her as a most attractiveperson- cheerful friendly , andgood-natured, and of equal height withP.1. himself. She was seven years youngerthan he, and lived for 25 years after hisdeath. She died an invalid at " Westpoint"on March 27th 1944.They were married on October 3,1900- her sister, Alice , as Bridesmaid andLouis Eily O'Carroll as Best-man. Theironly child was a still-born son. He wasinterred in the family grave in GlasnevinCemetery. She participated in most ofher husband's cultural pursuits. She wasregarded as a charming hostess, alwaysentertaining his many friends- prominentIrish personalities of the period, at 25 ,Patrick Street, and at " Westpoint" inlater years.She always accompanied him on histrips to Rathangan and feis Charman.Local residents recall seeing them at SundayMass during the summer months,where they were always a great attraction-the best-dressed of the Congregation!Margaret was specially renownedfor the very fashionable hats she wore.P.1's last visit to Rathangan was in 1918,we learn.Apparently, P .1's father was a shrewdbusinessman. He made good profitsselling " bonded Whiskey", and built up asteady trade in his Bar and Grocery Storein Patrick Street. But P.1. his sole survivingoffspring, was little attracted to thatin composing new songs, and in identifyinghimself actively with the Pan CelticSociety, The National Literary Association,The Gaelic League , Sinn Fein, TheFeis Ceoil, The National Theatre Society,Feis Charman, and kindred culturalorganisations. These, in turn, led him toa deep study of the history and folkmusic of Ireland.Undoubtedly, he acquired much of hisliterary talents from his father. Followingin his footsteps, he was elected amember of Dublin City Corporation forthe Wood Quay Ward- from 1896 untilhe resigned in 1911. From time to time ,too, he travelled in France, Germany,and Italy, and was a keen collector ofVenitian glassware. He was a competentballad singer, according to his acquaintances,and could play innumerabletraditional Irish airs on the violin. Hebusiness. Eventually, his first cousin,John McCall from Clonmore, Co . Carlow,was invited to take charge of it. P.1'sabiding interests lay in ballad collecting, '--____ ____________of times played the organ at SundayMass in Grantstown Church, too. He wasan avid collector of Irish dance tunes. ANote Copy containing 40 well-knownJigs, Reels and hornpipes (dated November1, 1886, when he was 25 years old)is now in the possession of MichaelLeacy , a Gorey Draper. His famous Collectionof "75 Feis Ceoil Melodies" waspublished in 1915 .P.1's interest in the Ballad Lore ofIreland actually stemmed from his nativeenvironment- from the rich ballad traditionof the "Liberties" where he was bornand reared. Patrick Street, Francis Street,Thomas St., and Cornmarket, especially,were the mecca of the Street singers.There broadsheets were sold in large numbers.In fact, the entire area was honeycombedwith Ballad Printers like Hardingsof Werburgh St. ; Wards and Arighos ofDungloeCO. Donegal22·25 October 1982A gathering of Se1siGnGroups an:! their friendsfron the four oorners ofIrelan:!.Join us for this Autumfestival ..nere there's anattractive programre tosuit all tastes: an:! plentyof tirre an:! qJpOrtlmity forthe infornal sessioo.BI Unn .. Seisi6n na Samhna tit • mbeidh sar-


Abalr AmhranMORRISSEY AND THE RUSSIAN SAILORCome all you gallant Irishmen , wherever you may beI hope you'll pay attention and listen unto me ;I'll tell about this battle that took place the other dayBetween a Russian sailor and 10hnny Morrissey.'Twas in Tierra Del Fuego in South AmericaThat the Russian challenged Morrissey , and these words to him did say"I hear you are a fighting man, and you wear the Belt, I see ,But indeed I wish you would consent to have a round with me".Then out spoke gallant Morrissey with heart both brave and true"I am a bold undaunted youth that never was subdued.And I will face the Yankee, the Sax on Bull or BearFor the honour of Old Ireland the laurels I will wear".Now to fight upon the tenth of March those heroes did agreeAnd the people came from everywhere this battle for to seeFull fifty thousand dollars as you may plainly seeThat was to be the champion's prize, who'd gain the victory.They shook hands and walked around the ring, commencing then to fightIt filled each Irish heart with pride for to behold the sightBut the Russian he floored Morrissey , up till the seventh roundAnd with Yankee , Russian and Saxon cheers the valleys did resound.The Irish offered ten to one that day upon the grassNo sooner said than taken up, and down they threw their cashThey parried away without delay , till the twenty-second round,When Morrissey received a blow that brought him to the ground.For a minute full our hero lay as if he ne'er would riseThe word went right around the ring , "he's beaten" was the cryBut Morrissey strove manfully , and rising from the ground,From that until the thirtieth round the Russian he put down.In the thirty·first and second rounds 'twas fall and all aboutWhich caused those foreign tyrants to keep a sharp look-out,The Russian called his seconds, and he had a glass of wine ;Our Irish hero boldly cried, " This battle will be mine" ., ,AN CUL DUIBHRECois a Ghaothraidh is breatha in Eirinn is is ailnear domhanMil is ceir bheach ceol ag eanaibh agus ull archrannChloisfeadh einne cantain ean ann a bheadh mil onmballCno bhui's caortha ar bhannaibh gheag ann a' fasgo Samhain.Nuair a ghabhann si 'Drom a' Chara soir is ond Teorainn RiabhaighIs taitneamhach gach caise 'ci le ceo glan niarnhBionn barra glas ar mhaiseanaibh agus par brea arfuearAgus cantain suilt i mbarra coille ag ceol na n..ean .Is ar Tuin soir bionn ceolta ann agus Aifreann DeFearaibh oga nach eol doibh i dtig a' t


MOTHER'S DELIGHT - Bobby Casey's vers!onItranscribed by DaVld Abe~f4 it~;tJ I i 'ap IdID dE! ItJ~rJJ£n IA » It'1t9~ :I~t& WJ I ,r ilP f I t}JJ fJP I;S... e I3---.. .... ..--. -" - --F~2 ~ 11!e «{J far! J hn I~9TrJ i-.... :i71 ~ ,~, -i::.p f! tt=!C@:6;t=e- r ~ g l.; JltIi@ll-11 J;jj; I "rE l v ItiJb1iffl111~~.Ip?JJnJ IP?JJ)JjjI@l;JJJJ I~1j i)1J1jli~1JiiJPbjlp ~,lll~ roP f· C I rFEr Et er I rrdlF.ti I Ctu J I\'E~)


I have more or less retired from theadjudication scene this last two or threeyears. Somehow one goes to the Fleadhtoday and the old stalwarts are missing.Our ranks are growing thinner with eachpassing year. Mind you I am loud in mypraises of the new stalwarts, the secretaries,chairpersons, call stewards, etc. thatwere in nappies when we took to the roadin the early fifties. They are doi:ng a marvellousjob and with the cultural movementgrowing so does the paper work andthe demands on an individual's free time .We gave it unsparingly and are glad to seeour example followed. Like the Latinpoet well may we now sing "Exegi monumentumaere perennius".But the Fleadh has changed. It turneda bad corner in Boyle in the early sixtiesor so people told us. Mullingar on ascorching hot week-end when Paddy andMrs. Fox of Sligo, the late Liam McGloinand Jim Mulrooney and Peter Toal Mrs.Sayers, Marion Stenson and others providedIrish stew for all and sundry wasanother Fleadh for the knockers. Somesmart Alec designed the term Fleadh 01and C.C.E. came in for a lot of what isnowadays termed flak. People evenbegan to doubt the Fleadh and tho' I sayit the f1eadh in certain areas was no longerin the bourgeois term acceptable. Thefools, the fools, centuries of oppressioncould not kill our culture and surely toGod a few beer swilling loud mouthedthullatans were not going to succeedwhere the might of the ruling class failed .The delicate flower that is our musicdrooped but it did not die . Graduallythe Gaelic ethic expressed musically grewstrong. Maybe the folk book of the sixtiessent people unconsciously perhaps insearch of musical roots. But looking backours was an authentic culture- aculturesteeped in history, suffering and oppressionand such being our credentials wecould not fail . We hammered away .True, senior competitions in the late sixtiesand early seventies were and indeedstill are scarce. I often thought that thelounge bar and ballad groups were toblame here as self-inflated musicianscould not bear defeat. As I write theselines, memories, so many memories, pouracross my mind throwing any sense oflogic out. You remember Newry's ownFrank Sweeney. I do at Swinford, Boyle,Mullingar and many other venues. Helost his shoes in M ullingar, his car keys inCavan but never his sense of humour ordeep appreciation for our music. Frankthe Newry Chemist with Sean 0 DriscoUor Paddy I forget his second name , Johnor Peter Murphy in tow was a f1eadhregular until death deprived this worldof his peerless humour sometime I thinktowards the end of the sixties. Indeed, Ido remember an adjourned Conventionin Omagh when Frank left the meeting toescort some Offaly people if I rememberrightly, across the man made artificialborder that divides geographically tho'not musically .Looking back on the general f1eadhscene I might roughly break it into threecategories or perhaps phases. The earlyyears were years of big crowds and wellattended venues with standards althoughraw-improving. The middle years whenour critics had their glory day, whentowns refused to host f1eadhanna andnow the last decade when signs of realfoundation are to be seen at all levels ofcompetition.I noted in recent years competitioncentres being confined to say the localVocational or Secondary school. This Ican only applaud as the unity of a singleclass room I eliminates distraction andallows competitor, adjudicator andaudience to concentrate. I have in thepast dealt with many Co . Secretaries as Iwent to adjudicate. All were helpful andcourteous. For sheer efficiency tho' ihave yet to see Co. Monaghan administrationtested. I helped out there this yearand the total grasp Mrs. Fisher I thinkwas the name, had of the entire f1eadhwas awe inspiring in the Clones school.Every minute detail seemed to be undercontrol. The fleadh is here to stay. It hassurvived and cut its musical and culturalteeth. It can only grow now while generationsas yet unborn will look back onthe handful of enthusiasts who started itall off in Mullingar away back in 1951 orwas it ' 52 and bless their memory. Ourmusical heritage is now safe . Mind youthirty years ago it was in peril. This perilmust never again beset it. The language isgoing through its diffucult times asindeed may well be our national games.The media are surely no help here. Ourceilithe are reviving and God willing someof us may yet live to see Eire anPhiarsaigh "ni amhain Gaelach ach saor­Ni amhain saor ach Gaelach". Should wedo so- then Comhaltas Ceolt6iri Eireannwith the Fleadh Cheoil as their showpiececan justly be proud of the part theyplayed in the spiritualistic cultural preservationof our heritage and above all inthe role it played in giving us a culturalnational identity in these days of internationalismRath De ar an obaiL18


Meeting the Irish in LondonBy Tom TobinItwas at Heathrow Airport inLondon that I met Bill Sherwood,a native of Kilfinnane , Co. Limerickwho has been a baggage porterwith British Airports Authorityfor more than ten years.And through that job he has becomea well known personality both at Heathrowand in the nearby town of Hayeswhere he lives with his wife, Mary andtheir four children."I suppose many would say there isnothing extraordinary about my job,"said Bill when I talked to him in Londonthe other day . "I know it looks that wayto so many of those who take us forgranted but you can take it from me thatit is a job that can be most extraordinaryat times."We never know what to expect fromone end of the shift to the other butthere is never a dull moment. I'm usuallyon Departures at Terminal One and I geta great deal of satisfaction in seeing oldfriends going back home to Ireland. Ifind most people nice and friendly and itis always our aim to help anyone whoneeds a helping hand in checking-in for aflight... ... especially the old and themothers with young children."Bill Sherwood has been in Londonsince 1945 and spent twenty-one yearswith the North Thames Gas Board beforejoining British Airports Authority. Hehas seen many important changes in lifein London but he will be quick to tellyou that while many keep on saying thatfewer and fewer paople appear to be travellingby air he cannot accept this. "Ifsome of those making such statementswere to take on my job for just a daythey would see that there is a growing demandfor seats on all aircraft in the AerLingus and British Airways fleet flying intoIreland .... .. . and out of it. I think it isa great thing and particularly for those ofus over here in Britian. We can be homein Ireland in an hour and that knowledgemakes all the difference."Bill had been in London for sometimewhen out of the blue he met the girl hehad known back home- Mary Bolandfrom his own Kilfinnane right in the heartof that busy location of Marble Arch.They were married and today they live ina beautiful home in the nearby town ofHayes with their four children: James(25), Rosemary (18), Martin (13) andMarian (21 ).... ... And they form a happyfamily with a deep love of the Ireland oftheir parents-and particularly thetraditional music of that land.It was Bill who told me that it is wonderfulto find among the children of theexiles generally , there is a great love ofIrish music "And I have no hesitation instating that this is due to the efforts ofComhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. Not onlyhave they kept the real old music, songand dance of Ireland alive but they haveimplanted it throughout the length andbreadth of Britain and good luck to them.We wouldn't miss the music that was somuch a part of our youth when it isavailable for us at the various functionsthat promote it in a way Ireland could beproud of over here. Thank God for thework of Comhaltas and may they go fromstrength to strength in the years ahead ."I was on my way back to Shannon atthe time I met Bill Sherwood- the manfrom Kilfinnane. He took good care ofmy bags but it was having checked themin that I discovered his Irish connections.As a result, I almost missed my plane.It wouldn't have worried me one bit.I was sure of a welcome in what is knownas the airport town of Hayes where thespirit of the Irish lives with a new vitality.In his own way , Bill Sherwood is a fineambassador for his native Ireland.Rev. Brian Lawlor, O.S.A. , aDublinman who has been one ofthe champions of the 'downtrodden'in London is likely to behonoured in a very special waywithin the next few months. There isnothing official about it yet but thankGod there are those who appreciate theremarkable work of this young priest whohas given 13 or 14 years to helping exilesin distress at his now famous Irish WelfareBureau at Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith,London W.6.Fr. Brian is a former student of the oldFriary College in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. It was standing beside Dungarvan'sSt. Augustine's Church in those days butthe location is now at Duckspool on theroad to Ballinacourty overlooking DungarvanBay .He has many major problems in Londontrying to cope with an increasingnumber of "good decent men from allparts of Ireland who came over here towork when there was plenty of work andwho are now victims of old age or,indeed, the present recession. Now theyneed help. Many of them are hungry andin need of clothes. This is where wecome in and while we do our best, thereis much more we could do ."16


Caitlin MaudeCeoltoir, File agus AisteoirAn chead uair gur leag me suil arChaitlin Maude, bhi si ina seasamh leMairtin b Cadhain agus dream beagagoide ag casadh amhniin ar thaobh hallaostain i nDun Dealgan i 1969. Bh{ cuidmhaith den lucht eisteachta a bhi sa hallasin chun freastal ar Eigse Ui Dhoirnin anmhishastaleis an agoid a chuir deireadh lehodid Aire na Gaeltachta a shuigh an anardan ag fanacht ar chiuineas. Thosaighsiadsan ag screadail agus ag beicil chunan ceol a mhuchadh agus chuir an dreambeag agoide neart breise leis an gceol dareir go dti go raibh doni ceart ann. Faoipholosai an stait i leith na teanga a bhian leirsiu.Ba chumasach mar a chuaigh Caitlin ibhfeidhm, i ina seasamh, og, dathUil, acuid gruaige fada dorcha a caitheamh siarle croitheadh a cinn 0 am go ham agus anaghaidh sin lan diograise , fuinnirnh agusmisnigh.Sna blianta ina dhlaidh sin , nuair ameadaiodh ar an agoidiocht faoin teangago dti go raibh se forleathan agus i gcasannaeirithe eifeachtach, chuir me aithnear Chaitlin mar chara agus mar chomhoibri.Nior tharla aon rud sna blianta sina bhain den chead iomha sin di ... . ach , amhalairt, chuaigh mo mheas i meid dereir mar a chuir me aithne ar na taobhannaeagsula den phearsantacht lighneitheach,eirirniuil seo .Nuair a shocraigh dream beag daoineclub do Ghaeilgeoiri a bhunu sanardchathair, rud nach raibh acu ag an am,bhi Caitlin chun tosaigh san obair agusniordh fhada go dti go raibh ainm "AnBonnan Bui", and club nua i mBru nariGael sa taobh 0 thuaidh den chathair, imbeallucht an cheoil agus na GaeilgeOn tus, theastaigh 6 Chaitlin go ndeanfaigach rud a bhain leis an gclub i gceart.Bhi eagla uirthi go mbafai an Ghaeilge dambeadh toir ar an gceol amhain agus socraiodhar riail daingean nach ligfi isteachach lucht labhartha na Gaeilge ... . rud achuir ole ar dhaoine airithe ach a chinntighgo bhfeadfadh Gaeilgeoid teacht lecheile oiche amhain sa tseachtain ar alaghad agus a bheith i gcomhluadar culturthada rogha.I measc na ndaoine a thainig go dti an"Bonnan Bui", bhi Peadar b Dubhda,Leon Rowsome. Clannad, Micheal bDomhnaill agus Daithi Sproule, HughieMcCormack, Tom Phaidi agus go leor leoreile , Bhuail Sean b Riada fein, isteachann oiche amhain.Mar amhranai, bhi Caitlin fein arfheabhas agus ba mhinic an halla plodaithesin faoi thalamh ina rabhamar inathost ar fad, faoi dhraiocht ag a leaganfein d'amhran as Conamara. Thainig anceoltoir agus an t-aisteoir cumasach inti lecheile ar na hoc:iid i seo ar bhealachfoirfe.Mar scribhneoir, mar fhile , thuill siaitheantas agus meas n{ amhain margheall ar usaid na teanga fein ach margheall ar an samhlaiocht aibi nean1hghnacha leiriodh ina cuid scribhneoireachta.Ta idir fhiliocht agus cheol lecloisteail ar an bhfadcheirnin di a d'eisighGael Linn.Ta an phearsantacht leirithe go maithag an bhflle Mairtin b Direain ina dh:in"Focalrabharta" a scriobh se tar eisCaitlin a fheiceail ag aithris dain dli cuid :'¥aul Kell~Ni bean no fear tuImo mheabhairse , is tuag aithris do dhain ,Mas aithris is cirte a ra ,Ach neach de chlann na mara;A goirme is a glaise agiomaiocht ido shuileIs tu ag ligean do racht chun fainIna fhocalrabharta.An scorn leat peannNo par mar ais,Trath a dtagann do ghanTe bruite as crai lan?Ta a lan dite faoi Chaitlin sa dan sina aithneoidh gach duine a chuir aithneuirthi riamh, Ceoltoir, aisteoir, flle , oibrediograiseach ar son na Gaeilge , cara, beancheile mathair, is boichte an tir sea gan iagus ta beama agus easnamh i measc alucht aitheantais nach lionfar.Roinnirnid le Cathal, a fear ceile , leCaomhan, a mac agus lena teaghlach goleis a mbron. An meid a thug si nuair abhi si linn, mairfidh se . Sonas nabhflaitheas da hanam uasal dilis.S. O hE2 Be~~ 6 o~d Pla~eDu.blin 1(b~ide BUOMCL6)Tu . 744641*All types of accordions repaired, tuned & re-voi ced**Concertinas tuned**2 day bow re-hair service**Estimates free**Open Tue. to Sat. 9.00 - 1.00 & 2.00 - 5.00*14


The Challengers' DefeatBy Tom TobinSeaboard and Western Airlines at Shannon Airport... .-_at the end of the piston age and thebeginning of the jet-age in the 'fifties.(Photo: TOM TOBlN)Shannon airlines' veteran , JoeHennessy never sailed a ship in his life­He knows nothing about the sea and onhis own admission, "wouldn't know howto moor a ship at a mile-long emptydock."Yet he has written a book about anunusual smuggling attempt off the Irishcoast which will raise many suspicions­And plenty of deep laughter. It is "TheChallengers' Defeat" published by NewHorizon, Sussex.The author who was born in NewYork but landed in Limerick City as aninfant smiled when I asked if the storyhad been based on the Claudia gun-runningaffair which stunned the Irish nationon the 28/29th of March 1973."Well I can't deny that," he said , "butI can't admit it either." He pointed outthat it was no coincidence that the nameof the vessel involved in the bizarre smugglingattempt in his story was "TheClaudia" .The story deals with an oil crisis whichcauses the Irish Government to take drasticaction in the hope of conservingpower for industry. A ban is placed onthe import of articles which use too muchelectricity- with the geyser, a unit useddomestically for the heating of waterbeing the prime offender.The plumbers of the country immediatelytake offence to this claiming thatsuch a ban was a real threat to their earnings.They agree to take immediate actionby arranging to have all the items theyneed smuggled into the country. Two oftheir members are sent to the Continentand after much hassling locate what theyrequire through the efforts of an underworldreturned German American. Thedoorman at the hotel where they stay becomestheir transport agent.ngarvan Bay, Co. Waterford. where the attempted gun-running of th e·CLAUDIA ended in 1973_(Photo: TOM TOBIN)12


knew it. Such was the family unit inwhich 1 was reared."1 can remember when I'd come homefrom school and fInd that my mother wasout shopping which was quite rare indeedthere was some kind of a vacancy in thehome- a distinct vacancy , mind you. Ifelt it as a child and even later on in life1 felt it too. There might have been somelittle thing 1 wanted to tell my motherimmediately I got inside the door and ifshe was not there I felt let down."But, of course, they will tell you thatthey have a great independence of spirittoday which we did not- or so it appearsnow. I feel that in any family unit therehas to be this feeling of dependent love.Perhaps I could say that this is whatworries me a lot today- that thisdependence on the love of the family unitis being taken away from us by the State.The sooner we get back to it the better.We should admit that this is somethingwhich is our own personal responsibilityand never depend on others to accept itfor us. The family must contribute to itsown welfare otherwise there is bound tobe a breakdown to everything that wassacred to us here in Ireland." It is absolutely unfair of us to ask ourgovernment to do for us what we shouldbe doing for ourselves and our families ifGod has given us the health. I am all forState help for those in need and Godknows there are many people, manyfamilies in all areas of this country cryingout for that help today but it seems tome that the real needy are the last ones toreceive help. I feel very strongly aboutthis and I feel that if God gives us thehealth let us get up off our tails and dowhat we can to uphold our own responsibilities."The lady who made no secret of hersimple belief that if a woman can take herplace anywhere she will be accepted as anequal among any majority of men and iwill win their full respect and admiration, itold me that it was complete1y unaccep- jtable to find the female aping the male f,sex in various respects. "A man is a man .,1and a woman is a woman and one should Inot find it necessary to ape the other just ·to tolerate the illusion that both areequal. I'm not saying that 1 vould becontent to sit back and allow sorn.e mantell me that I had to accept what he wassaying as fInal."I firmly believe a woman must beable to have her own point of view and tobe able to get it across as she sees it butshe is not any more superior than theman . I don't believe either should besuperior. The male and female must complementeach other. Indeed , 1 often askis there anything nicer than a graciouswoman. Financial equality is all very welland I'm all for it provided one can give asmuch as the other be it male or female ."Mrs. Condell who is a member of theChurch of Ireland spent many yearswriting for their Gazette. She continuesto write for the newspapers and for radiobut she misses her own regular columnfor national readership. "Of course, 1would like to have my own column againmainly because there is so much thatshould be said that is not being said bythose in the media. Unfortunately, Iwould not find it as easy now as I foundit in the past mainly because of myhealth- I'm not that good healthwise."No, I'm not all that happy withtrends within the media generally in irelandtoday and there is room for bothurgent and major changes."1 suppose most of us are concernedbecause of the manner in which themedia seems bent on stirring upmuddy waters at a time when we lookto the media for some hard hittingcomments of matters of importance tothe ordinary person who is strugglingto make ends meet-people who havelost hope and have forgotten thepoor and aged of this disturbed nation.The lack of happy endings is all toocommon today and 1 am reminded ofa line from F.R. Riggins 'An UnmarriedMother Sings' - 'You're still nailedin love onto my four bones.' 1 oftenwonder if ours is the caring nation welike to believe it is."Mrs. Condell quoted the poet RobertFrost to sum up her feelings-The woods are lonely, dark and deep ,And I have promises to keep ,And miles to go before I sleep.'"That is as I see myself today," shetold me with a touch of sadness in herhusky voice. "It makes me sad . All thosepromises I have not been able to keep andI have not been able to walk so many ofthe miles I wanted to cover into thevarious areas of interest, activity, contributionsand responsibility. 1 would haveliked to stay in public life provided therewas someone I could rely upon to keepthe home together during my absence. 1fInd that this is not possible anymore andtherefore 1 feel that my first responsibilityis to my husband, to my home and tomyself as a person. I find I have less timeand less energy to write. The years canbe felt now and sometimes I get annoyedOne of Limerick's best known landmarks-theDominican Church with the historic Tait'sOock nearby-still keeping good time.(Photo: TOM TOBIN)10


PiperDinny Delaneyof BallinasloeBy Dan DaveyDinny Delaney was born in Ballinasloein 1830. He was without sight from infancy: learned to play the uilleann pipe,:married and raised a family . He died in1919 and is buried beside his parents inCreagh Cemetery , Ballinasloe.While still in his early youth he wastaught to play the pipes by a piper namedWillis, and this was to become his solemeans of support throughout his longlife- he was 89 years of age when he died.Late in life he married another musician,one Maria Flannery from the village ofAughrim near Ballinasloe, a district famedin history as the site of a decisive battle in1690. Maria was a fiddle player, aninstrument which their son was to learnto play later.The Delaney family lived at WoodsLane in Ballinasloe. There were manysuch thickly populated lanes leading offthe principal streets of Ballinasloe at thatperiod- Fiddlers Lane, Pipers Lane ,Church Lane , Reeves' Lane , to mentionbut a few . Most of these lanes are nowuninhabited and the houses have longsince disappeared.Dinny Delaney was a noted piper andwas much sought after to provide themusic at various social gatherings in thesurrounding village dance halls andprivate houses. Such dances may be organisedparochial fund raising events heldin the local school-cum-dancehall, whereDelaney would play for an arranged fee ,or in a private house where the friendsand neighbours would gather for a'hooley', each patron contributing a moreor less standard donation for the piper.Many and varied are the anecdotes relatedconcerning Delaney . He wasengaged on one particular occasion toplay at a dance in Aughrim school.Having played continuously for a considerablelength of time , the Parish Priestremarked to him "you must be tiredplaying for so long, Dinny" . "No,Father" replied Dinny, "but I'm verydry". No doubt the good P.P. soon providedthe appropriate thirst quencher.Delaney was considered an excellentjudge of a good bonham, or piglet, andwas much in demand at the local pig marketby prospective buyers. He would examinea creel of bonhams by feeling themand pick out the best thriver. His clientwas always satisfied by Delaney'sselection. Another story relates thatDinny was arrested in Mountbellew bythe local R.Le. for playing Irish Airs onthe streets of that town. The story is alsotold that when he played at house dancesthe door takings would be taken up byhis wife from each patron on arrival. Itis said that Dinny would keep his owncheck on the receipts by counting theclicks of the door latch as each personentered. His account and Maria's did notalways tally as some dancer would tip thelatch as he passed by the door.Recordings of Dinny Delaney playingthe pipes have been made on the Edisonphonograph cylinder. One recording was8made in 1899 at a feis ceoil in Dublin,and the tunes played were 'Repeal of theUnion', 'Old Hag in the Kiln', Woman ofthe House on the Floor', and 'Kid on theMountain'. Another recording was madein 1907 of Delaney playing the Irish Air,'The Last Glimpse of Erin'. This recordingwas made by Dr. Rudolf Trebitsch, ascientist from Vienna, who toured Irelandin the Summer of that year recording thedifferent Gaelic dialects. Dr. Trebitschalso recorded other Irish musicians includingthe Dublin fiddle player, Mrs.Bridget Kenny. Dr. Trebitsch's originalwax cylinder was later transferred to discin the Museum in Vienna. The Doctormentions Delaney in an article he wrotein 1908 thus, "Denensey Delfhaney fromBannslow, Co. Galway- is reputed to beone of the best players on the union-bagpipes-he is blind and says he owes his


Jack MulkereTeacher, Patriot and GaelLe Gear6id 0 hAlImhurainThe death of Jack Mulkere ofCrusheen , which took place recently inEnnis marks a considerable watershed inthe history of Irish traditional music andfolk culture, particularly in Clare andEast Galway. Jack, who taught music forover fifty years, began his life as a traditionalmusician under the shadow of thecultural renaissance which emanated fromCoole near his native Kiltartan in SouthCounty Galway. His contribution as ateacher of traditional music during thedepression years of the 1920s and 1940swas a mammoth one. This was particularlytrue at a time when folk music andtraditional culture were very far frombeing social or indeed political prioritiesin the Ireland of the time. When we considerthe present state of Irish traditionalmusic in Clare and Galway; the widespreadsocial appreciation and affinitywith traditional culture; we cannot underestimatethe contribution made by JackMulkere , both as a teacher and player, inthe overall saga. This saga which extendsback to the 1920s includes as its mainthemes, the Aughrim Slopes Ceili Band,the take-off of Co rnhaltas Ceolt6iriEireann, particularly in County Clare, thebuilding of a teaching and cultural centreat Cois na hAbhna and finally theteaching of Irish traditional music to hundredsof Irish people in the greaterLondon area .CULTURAL BACKGROUNDThe Mulkere household in Kiltartanwas from the 1880s closely asso ciatedwith the literary renaissance movementwhich emanated from the Gregorydomain nearby at Coole Park. Jack'sfather was a Gaelic speaker and closefriend of Father Eugene O'Growney.When the Gaelic League became a realityin 1893, Jack's father became Presidentof the first branch of the League formedin Ireland in Kiltartan in South Galway.Lady Gregory of Coole, whose work as afolklorist and dramatist has immortalisedthe Kiltartan English of the early 1900swas a regular visitor to the Mulkerehousehold while , as a young fellow, Jackwas brought to Coole House on a fewoccasions to entertain its regular entourageof literary personae.Jack began to play the violin at the ageof twelve encouraged by his mother whoplayed the concertina, and his teacher inKiltartan National School, Miss Barry.He was also helped in his student days bythe local Protestant Minister Rev. Daly.During the turbulent years of the Warof Independence Jack was involved withthe Old I.R.A. and served under Commdt.McInemey in South Galway. In a recentinterview which I had with Jack, hevividly described the turmoil and hardshipwhich was imposed on the ruralpopUlation of South and East Galwayduring this period. This hardship he feltwas made all the more horrific by theensuing Civil War saga .THE CYCLING TEACHERIn the wake of the War of Independence, a Fife and Drum Band was formedin Gort in South Galway. This band wasdirected by local chemist Jack Coen andband master Michael Corbett. However,a British Army Band Master, named PatSalmon from Limerick later took overthis band. Jack Mulkere found his wayinto the ranks of Gort's Fife and DrumBand and there was first introduced tothe rudiments of music which he after-6wards adapted to his own fiddle playing.In 1923 Jack was encouraged to holdhis first music class in Peterswell byProfessor Monaghan from Galway city.Here in Peterswell, in the Autumn of1923 Mulkere began a humble teachingcareer that was to last over fifty years,the effects of which were to touch thousandsof young traditional musicicns bothin Ireland and abroad, in the remaininghalf century. Among his earliest studentswere members of the Cooley family, particularlyJoe, Jack and Seamus, who havesince become household names in Irishtraditional music. Jack's next class was inKiltartan and by the early 1930s, Jackhad a network of classes throughoutSouth East Galway, stretching as far eastas Aughrim and north east as far asAthenry, often cycling as much as fortymiles in the course of a night to teachmusic.During this period Jack met the wellknownPaddy KelIy from Aughrim whohas left a legacy of fine compositions andwho Jack admired as a fine exponent ofthe East Galway fiddle style. Jack wasalso a regular visitor to the home of JackFahy of Killaghbeg House in Kilconnell,whose son Paddy Fahy is one of the mostprolific composers of Irish traditionalmusic at the present time.THE AUGHRIM SLOPESIn the late 1920s, Paddy KeUy , JoeMills and Jack Mulkere oegan to playregularly at Fahy's in Kilconnell. Finally,on the advice of old Jack Fahy, they decidedto apply to the recently establishedRadio Eireann (or 2RN as it was thenknown) for an audition to broadcast.They were granted an audition in Dublinand played for Dr. Vincent O'Brien then


It is some twenty-six years since a 62-year-old Slieveardagh fiddler and traditionalartist died on the way to Mass ona Sunday, in Gortnahoe. Now there are"rumours" being mentioned in at leastthree publications about a memorial tothe late Larry Wall, of The Commons,who was the "daddy of them all" in anarea that survived a famine and theYoung Irelanders uprising of 1848 to liveto perpetuate many of the old songs andstories around the firesides of Slieveardagh.If somebody does, in fact , erect amemorial, it will probably be to the bandof musicians and traditionalists of theSlieveardagh area, who have become , inmany instances, national legends.Even before Ceolta Tire came to TheCommons in 1955 with Ciaran MacMathuna, in that stage bush telegraphthat musicians of every code have , LarryWall and many of his contemporarieswere known throughout the land. Indeedin my young days at school I heard of aman called Michael Ryan, Fennor, onthe fiddle, long before I was to becomean acquaintance of his and his family .And War of Independence veteran., MickRyan's story is woven into the fabric ofthe Larry Wall legend.Slieveardagh has its bards today,too: Dan O'Meara of Rathbeg ; BrudPearson of Grange; and T. K. O'Dwyerwho farms in Ballynonty. -They are proud of their poets andmusicians in The Commons area and theirlocal "anthem": "Ballingarry I haveLoved From Long Ago ."All this is a prelude to the informationthat the current issue of "Treoir", theComhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann magazine(and a fine publication it is too for trad­Irish fans), features the legend of LarryWall-Fitzpatrick of Slieveardagh, by hisgrand-nephew, Mr. Michae1 Fitzpatrick,Chairman of Gorey C.C.E., who has writtenfour lengthy pages of extremely interestingmaterial on the history of theSlieveardagh district.There are references to many localpeople and places in the labour of love ,obviously, from Mr. Fitzpatrick, and 'tisworth the 40p to fmd out more fromyour copy of "Treoir", a magazine whichgets better and better and still stays ascheap, however, editor, Labhras 0Murchu of Cashel, manages it!4A Dear Tune!By William CurrieEamorm La Pointe of Chicago wasplaying a bagpipe tune called "Devil inthe Kitchen" at the home of a friendwhile burglars were breaking a window toclimb into his kitchen."For some reason I didn't feel goodplaying that tune," La Pointe said afterdiscovering that devils in his kitchen hadcarted off just about everything of valuefrom his Wicker Park home.The breathless burglars must havestopped later Tuesday night to counttheir loot. There was the usual booty forpetty burglars~a T.V. a stereo, a clock,clothing and some paintings worth a fewdollars from their local fence .But what were they going to do withall those fancy metal tubes, wood pipes,leather straps and leather and cloth bags?They were looking at the best collectionof bagpipes in Chicago and probablydidn't recognise them at first , becausebagpipes lie in their cases in a lifelessarray of tubes and deflated bags.Few could put life in them as LaPointe could. La Pointe, a clerk for theIllinois regional library for the blind, is awell-known piper in the United Statesand Canada.There were two sets of Great HighlandBagpipes, the kind the Scots stand andplay. There was a set of Uileann bagpipes,the kind the Irish sit and play witha bag under one arm and a bellows underthe other. There was a set of Northumbrianbagpipes, a bellows-blown bagpipethat the English play while standing. Andthere was a tiny falsetto , mouth-blownbagpipe the French call the Binou.And there was a variety of Irish andEnglish flutes, fifes and whistles. Theonly thing left for La Pointe to play wasthe small practice pipe he was playingthat evening.La Pointe, 32, played them all for anyonewho would listen."Why would they take them?" LaPointe asked. "What could they do withthem?""They can't play them, because Iknow everybody in Chicago who knowshow to play them or would teach them,"said La Pointe, "and they can't sell them,because I know just about every personaround who would buy them."Sure, they're valuable. There is alittle silver and ivory on a few. Theywere worth thousands to me. But thereis no illegal market for them," he said.. Some of their value , he said , is inestImable. One set of Highland Bagpipeswas played in the Boer War and WorldWar 1 by a piper in the Cameron Highlanders.La t'ointe said he will miss most thesolace he gets from piping in troubledtimes.


Gems of Irelandof Ireland", the 1982 ComhaltasConcert Tour of North America (6-24 October), will incorporate a spectaculartribute to that great Irishman CharlesJ. Kickham, the centenary of whosedeath occurs this year. Kickham- poet,writer, patriot- was the author of thenow internationally famous "Knocknagow"which is a vivid and romantic narrativeof rural life in Ireland with all itsmerriment, pathos and courage."Knocknagow" will come to lifethrough the native music, song and danceof Ireland which were so much part ofKickham's aspirations. The talented performerswill be dressed in the costumes ofthe period. The producer, well-knownBreand3n 0 Duill, skilfully introducesthe audience to the life-and-times of theFenian Kickham, and creates a musicaltapestry with varying moods of nostalgia,humour and merriment.The cast of the show, which is drawnfrom the four provinces of Ireland, iscomprised of performers who themselveshave become household names. Includedare accordeonists Joe Burke (Galway) and2


"EACH HOUSEHOLD WILL RECEIVE A YEAR'SSUPPLY OF "TREOIR" ABSOLUTELY FREE!THIS IS THE GOOD NEWS FOR COMHALTAS IMEMBERS DURING 1982/83. THE FIRST ADULTMEMBER OF EACH HOUSEHOLD WILL BE THERECIPIENT OF THIS GREAT OFFER."DON'T DELAY, JOIN IRELAND'S CULTURAL ,MOVEMENT NOW AND SERVE YOUR NATION.

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