Friday, February 12, 2010

Ballymore Singing Festival

Where else would you find such richness in music as Ballymore? Singers from all over the country and even outside the country singing such a variety of songs about love, betrayal, war, emigration, chariot races, financial recessions, unionist politicians, Napoleon, birds, animals, washerwomen and lots more.
This was the 8th year of the Ballymore Singing Festival, the most low key (pun intended) festival you could imagine. It usually takes place in the middle of October a few weeks after the Music under the Mountains Festival in Hollywood. Ballymore’s festival concentrates on traditional singing and is spread around some of the pubs with Mick Murphy’s being the principal standard bearer. It was great to see Headon’s open again for the weekend. In the early years we were graced with the singing as well as the wisdom and stories of the late great Frank Harte. This year traditional singers came from all over, from Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and France and beyond to sing songs whose great value is in their words and music and not in the slickness of their arrangement and backing accompaniment. The songs may be old or new but the style is traditional. All over Ireland there are traditional singing clubs where such songs are kept alive or, in the case of new songs, given their first outing. We have a group of such enthusiasts in Ballymore who meet in Mick Murphy’s once a month. Someone said that if songs are not sung they will die. For that reason singing festivals and singing clubs exist. This year the visitors included Rosie Stewart, formerly singer of the year with TG4. She launched her latest CD on the Sunday at a lively session which included George Henderson and Alan Stout of the Bray Singers. Over the 3 days we were entertained by regular visitors Jerry O Reilly, Ron Kavana, Annie Armstrong, Phil Brennan, Mick Scanlon, Dick Hogan, Barry Gleeson, Tommy Mc Carthy and Mick Fowler. Among the local singers who contributed were Phil Callery, Larry Roddy, Ita Roddy, C J Darby, Denis and Deirdre Doyle, Siobhan Murphy, Brenda Lyons Liam Lawler, Liam and Maureen Downey. And there were many others who just sang and whose names passed me by. Songs were exchanged, explained and their origins examined. Occasionally, in good natured banter, singers also had their own origins questioned. Both singers and listeners moved between the various venues. The organisers were delighted with the turnout and with the local support. I can hardly wait until next year.

Liam Lawler

Breast Cancer Research Fund The organizers of the recent Breast Cancer Research fundraising events wish to sincerely thank everyone for their support. We are very grateful to Ger & Kay O'Rourke of Country Kitchens for allowing us to use their beautiful showrooms and to Karen Finnerty of Kal Ireland for her amazing cookery demonstrations. We are also very grateful to the local Art Group for their generous support and to Barry & Georgina O'Sullivan and their staff at the Ballymore Inn for all their help to us in running the raffle and auction at the recent exhibition. Finally, we want to say a huge thank you to the people of Ballymore Eustace for coming out and supporting these events. Unfortunately, breast Cancer is all too common in our area, and all funds generated are being used to research into the genes responsible for breast cancer, particularly in younger women. This is an ongoing research project being coordinated by Mr. James Geraghty, Breast Cancer Consultant at St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin which will directly impact on women in Ballymore Eustace and Co. Kildare. Unfortunately there is no government funding for this vital research so we are sincerely grateful for your support in helping us raise Euros 4,910 so far towards keeping this vital work going.

Aileen and Janet

Billy Hillis Presentation.

I went along to the presentation to Billy Hillis in Pet Murphy’s this month.
Tim Dooley praised Billy for his dedication to public office and his service to the people of Ballymore. Tom Carberry was fulsome in praise for Billy’s dealings with Council officials. Bernard Durkan paid tribute to Joise and Billy’s family as the unsung supporters of public representatives. Mark Headon spoke of his difficulties in filling Billy Hillis shoes as he succeeded him on the council. I made a presenation on behalf of the Bugle.
If it was a retirement do it was a “Frank Sinatra” party as I think Billy Hillis will be making a comeback before too much longer.


Wine tasting at Fogarty’s Quikpick in aid of Barrettstown Gang Camp.

It was a p%^&ing wet night when ace snapper, Mark Darker and myself darted in to cover this novel event. Mark Funston of Barrack Street with Niall Tubridy showed a selection of mainly new World Wines. Beneath the canopies and surrounded by Christmas trees if we had snow instead of rain it would have been perfect. Host, Sean Fogarty is building up his expertise in the wine field according to his sister Phil O’Brien. We also met genial Damien Reynor of Hampton Property Lettings who was upbeat about an upturn in the country for 2010. Sean has a fine selection of wines available. MD & myself could not partake but WE WILL be back


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