Niamh's Musings

Join Niamh at home and on tour... the people she meets, the music she loves and the turns in the road.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Milltown, Co. Kerry

The World Bodhran Championships!!! I had been quite amused to be invited to this wonderful festival - but the organisers had wanted to bring more musicians and singers into the town, and it was a great idea. Unfortunately time constraints made it impossible for me to be at the whole festival but I managed to arrive just in time to hear the final part of the final, with my neighbours and fellow northside Dubliners, Neil and Conor Lyons, performing brilliantly. The announcements came soon afterwards, and in joint third place was a young lad from Tyrone, Sean O'Neill, and another from Cavan, my old mate Ritchie Lyons - they had to share the winnings and the plaque although I understand they will make a new plaque for one of them. They were both delighted. Then in 2nd place was last year's winner, Neil Lyons (no relation to Ritchie) he had played really great, with Eamonn de Barra accompanying him, and I had been suitably impressed. And then finally the winner was announced, Neil's younger brother, Conor, who was stunned, not only to win but to beat Neil!! The following day I was chatting with him and he told me that when he heard Neil's name being called out he knew he didn't have a chance - Neil slagged him about having all the money to spend, and Conor had actually forgotton there was a money prize too!!

I dawdled around the town that evening, meeting lots of people I knew. There was apparently a great session in one of the pubs I was in, but too packed (with people and bodhrans!). So I made my way over to the cafe, where I had tea and lovely sandwiches and cake. There was a wonderful little session there, and Liam O'Maonlai played whistle while two little boys accompanied him on bodhrans, very good kids, one of them the under 12 winner and the other the runner up.

Next day I browsed around the town, hanging out at the cafe, meeting new people and listening to sessions, and finally it was time for the workshop. I had anticipated maybe 7 or 8 people, but 35 turned up. After 2 hours they all went away clutching about 20 songs, and I hope people were happy!

A lovely festival, with brilliant organisers -


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