Jay took me to the Carrowkeel passage tombs Co. Sligo. What can I say? Where can I start? The were built 4000 years before Christ. We hiked up the mountain and even that view was spectacular. One tomb is accessible and neither is there an interpretive centre nor an admission fee.
Jay says the faeries will dance to your music. I pull out the fiddle and play “The Kid on the Mountain”. Very magical indeed.
I’m up earlyish and cook my own Irish fry of fried eggs, potatoes, black pudding, toast & coffee. Now it’s time to get all that Irish tea into my luggage. I try my best not to forget anything and bid farewell to Ton and Barney & Lucy (the dogs).
I call in on Jackie and immediately Annie offers me a bowl of her famous soup. Jackie is visibly drawn from his treatments. I tell him stories about my travels and the tunes in town and who I played with him. He asks many questions and I am often able to remember a name for him. That man from Clare who played the fiddle and composed many tunes. “Junior Crehan?” “That’s him!”
I play tunes and chat with him for a good hour and a half. Then It’s time for his nap. Get well Jackie Please!!!!!!
I am finishing my trip in Ennis at the Fafa session with Blackie O’Connell & Siobhan Peoples. The plan is to play till 3:00 am like last week, hit the Chipper then car back to the airport. No Guinness for me. Good-bye Ireland, Hello Canada. (+13 in Kerry today -15 in Edmnonton).
Ennis is home to many wonderful statues – you can even do a statue tour.
Saturday POK full on!
Session 1 is in The Crown led by Derek Hickey (box). A lovely quiet session with many young players and loads of hornpipes. Derek tells me he was in Edmonton in March with De Dannan. That would be the Alec Finn De Dannan as opposed to the Frankie Gavin De Dannan. Also at the table are Eileen De Paor (flute), Aidan Coffey (box) and John Kelly (flute).
Session 2 is at Peter Browne’s: my annual seen with Jackie Daly, Matt Cranitch and Paul de Grae. Super fun as usual with powerful rhythm, loads of Sliabh Luchra sets and Jackie’s irrepressible humour – both musically and linguistically.
Session 3 is the heated beer gardens in back of McCarthy’s with Georgia and her young crowd. Musicians include Greta Curtin (concertina), Darragh Horan (guitar), Jessie Healy (fiddle). I walk the 3 km to Tony’s. I’m almost there when Georgia and Greta pull beside me. “Put on the tea!” I yell.
Had a mighty time in the Crane Bar with Mick Creehan (whistle), Pat O’Donnell (banjo), Mike (pipes), Mike (bodhran & spoons). Rob Fuller & I walk into town from Renmore and meet up with his friend Liam.
Gerry & Christine from Switzerland are in the crowd. We often are visiting at the same time so we are busy catching up. “How is Georgia?” “Oh she arrives on Thursday.” And we leave on Tuesday.”
Walking home on Lough Atalia Road a tall cyclist pulls up beside me. “Oh you startled me”. We begin to talk. He is Al (“You can call me Al”) Bailey from Trinidad, a filmmaker.
Back to his place for a bowl of soup at 3 am. We actually have loads in common; bicycles, bike repair, music films. And he knows who Mark Messier is and cites Mark as the top man in hockey. I agree. “How could you possibly know that?” “There was a woman once. She wanted me to know important things about Canada.”
Another great day yesterday. Visited Paula McCourt then a lovely visit with Seamie & Teresa Talbot. Session was in James Murray’s in Charlestown Co. Mayo. Played with Joe Grady (fiddle), John O’Brien (flute), Liam (flute) and Dave & Maggie. Sligo style! Then back to spells in Balla for a late night pint. Met sound man Jimmy Sharkey and hit off great. Back to the house for soda bread and Irish sausages. Leaving now for ennis. Airport in the morning!
PJ Hernihan on accordion and Anthony on flute is Spell’s Bar, Ballaghddereen. Usually we would have Frank Jordan (92) on flute but he is suffering from a chest infection and expected to make a full recovery. Neil Spells was his usual cheery and droll self. PJ gave me his new CD which I am Anxious to hear. Tonight I will have dinner with Seamie Talbot & Teresa Nerney in Roscommon town then off to a session with Joe Grady in Murray’s Pub Charlestown. This is a picturesque community with gorgeous rolling hills and farmland.
But we still went cycling. Joe Herlihy took me for our 3rd cycle around Kerry. We started out the same and went to Clogher but then he took me into the hill country where many walking trails have been developed. It is called “Glanageenty“. This link gives the history of the area. It is a beautiful wooded area. So we saw 3 plaques: 1) the Earl of Desmond who was beheaded by the British in 1583, and commeorated in 1983, 2) Captain Robert Monteith who was a captain bringing arms into Banna Strand, Co. Kerry in 1916. His contact wa not there and the ship was captured by the British but through many hardships and hiding he eventually made it back to his home in the USA, & 3) The Holy well, where if you watered your horse he would not thirst for the rest of the journey. Sure it was raining lightly, I suppos it was “Soft Abundant Rain”. Lots of hills and trees. As I travel around Ireland it seems to be mostly cultivated so a forest was lovely.