Fiddle event at Ballinamore Library on August 22
South Leitrim, as well as North Longford, has long been a stronghold of fiddle playing, extending back over the last 150 years. That tradition is alive and well today with people like Enda McNamara, Thomas Morrow, Lisa Ward and Irene Guckian among the top fiddle players in Ireland.
In the past, Leitrim was fortunate to have men who kept that tradition alive and passed it on, people like Peter Kennedy, Stephen Grier, Alex Sutherland and the Reilly family. Manuscript collections from some of these men were unearthed and preserved by Fr John Quinn and, in recent years, new life was given to their tunes at Fleadhanna at county, provincial and All Ireland level.
Last year, Cumann Ceoil Chonmhaicne was established with a view to recording, preserving and developing that long-established tradition of fiddle playing in the region. The driving force behind this effort is Annaduff man, Conor Ward, assisted by Fr John Quinn, with Aidan O’Hara from Longford as Chairman.
The Leitrim launch of Cumann Ceoil Chonmhaicne will take place in Ballinamore Library on Tuesday August 22 at 7.00. John McCartin, another well-known traditional fiddle player, will perform the launch and music will be provided by Marie Reilly from New York and Pádraig Reilly from Lanesboro, two fiddle players with direct connections to the famous Reilly family from Drumreilly. Recordings of Marie’s father, Michael, and other members of the family made in the 1960s and 1970s will be played.
The launch is open to the public and anyone with an interest in Irish music is welcome to attend. Beidh fáilte roimh gach duine, agus ní gá a rá go bhfuil cead isteach saor in aisce.