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Concertina Cruinniú

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I would guess Geoff was more referring to the wind, the lack of light, the horizontal rain and hail. Possibly you need to sit out a few winters here to fully grasp it.



I take it you don't work for the Irish tourist board, Peter! But thanks for the warning - I'm just working out whether I can get over there in February; I can waterproof the concertina case, and the rest of me will dry out anyway.



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During the winter Co Clare often sees long, extended high pressure conditions when it is crisp and cold but with brilliant winter sunshine.

I love those days. November, with long, damp dreech days, are harder to take than the more robust days of February.

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Similar here in Yorkshire Pennines, after the current fogs as the cold north air meets the warm Atlantic stuff we get into those clear skies and frosty days, just right for the local carol season and often with some snow underfoot. My son was born 41 years ago on Nov 17 and we had to struggle through a sudden dump of snow and since then the first snow has been about, or on, that date many times, strange

Edited by michael sam wild
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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

If that Ennis to Miltown Malbay bus is still the same as it was the last time I used it ( which was 1974 I think) then it follows the route of the long defunct West Clare Railway ( as in the famous song, the chorus of which goes " Are you right there Michael are you right, do you think that we'll get home before tonight?").Percy Ffrench wrote that song after being disasterously late for a Concert he was to give in Kilrush ( or was it Kilkee).


Well, I would be inclined to stick out your thumb and hold a concertina case in the other hand. The roundabout on the Ennistymon road out of Ennis could be a good place to hitch a lift.


Maybe Peter Laban can advise if there is a better service or if the Dark Ages are still existant in West Clare.

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As far as I know it's still doing the milkroute: Corofin, Ennistymon, Lahinch, Miltown. Mind you, my last experience with the service was maybe a decade later than Geoff's but it's my son's excuse for having me collect him from Ennis when he returns from college in Galway to have his washing done.


Buseirreann website




Edited by Peter Laban
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  • 5 weeks later...

The cruinniú kicked off last night, after introductions Dan Worral did his, very informative, talk. Concertinaplayers, including Edel Fox, Caoilfhionn O Fhrighil, Mary McNamara, Aoibheann Queally, Aishling Lyons and Liam O Brien, were playing in a number of pubs. A good night.






A few more images from the concert on Saturdaynight, Mick Kinsella & Rick Epping and Noel Hill, Tony Linnane & Alec Finn








And a final few images from the final event, an afternoon with the musicians. Tim Collins talked with a number of players and coaxed them into playing a few tunes. It was a in a way sad that of the older Clare musicians only Chris Droney and Gerald Haugh were there (Tommy McMahon was recovering from the flu). And as my wife remarked, it was maybe not very complimentary to shovel the rest of the group into the 'older player' bracket, even if the old generation as we used to know them is nearly gone.


Anyhow, thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon with a half set thrown in towards the end.


Gerald Haugh:




Gerald Haugh, Tom Collins, Dympna O Sullivan:




Chris Droney:




Mary McNamara and her daughter Sorcha:




Jaqueline McCarthy:




Jaqui and Marion McCarthy:








Edited by Peter Laban
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Thanks for the photos. How is it I didn't get to meet you? I was looking forward all weekend to meeting you finally, but of course I don't know what you look like! Oh well!


It was great for me to meet other cnetters like Larry (Reeves) and Mike. The English folks were there too...Roger and Mark and Deborah. And it was a treat to meet so many Irish players I had never met before.


A few of us stayed on at the end of the Droney/Haugh session. Chris remembered me from our last meeting, on my honeymoon trip 31 years ago. I got to play a few tunes with him and Dympna, and several folks were dancing, including three generations of males in one family (Murphy I think but that might be wrong) as well as some second cousins of mine from Ballymakea Mullagh. It was great fun.


I do hope they continue this. I think February may be my favorite time to visit....good prices on hotels, the weather wasn't too too bad, and not so many tourists like me around.

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. How is it I didn't get to meet you?

I don't know Dan. You were busy? I could say I was the man having a cup of tea at the bar on Sunday afternoon while talking to Jim Carrol or that the camera could have been a give away but in all honesty nowadays I prefer to disappear into the woodwork when I find myself in a place with a lot of people around. Jackie Daly coaxed me into playing for a while in Friel's on Fridaynight but that was about as public as it got. Mike did suss me out that night. As for afters, there were fires to be lit and cats to be fed so I didn't linger in town much.


On another note, although nobody approached me directly there were inquiries made all over town about copies of 'They'll be good yet' word got back to me from several directions. The recording sold out rapidly and that was fine. I would probably have done another run if Kitty had lived but as things are, I think it has had it's run and I am not planning on making it available again. Sorry about that.

Edited by Peter Laban
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The event was great and Dan's talk set the scene and had people talking about the Anglo and German concertina in context. Lovely workshops, talks, concerts and sessions. The weather held up and people in Miltown Malbay were very welcoming and pleased to have folk in town in these hard times.Nice to meet various fellow c.netters. Thanks for the photos Peter. I took some on my phone but don't know how they will come out yet.


Well done OAC(Clare Institute for Traditional Studies) and all who made the event so succesful. Roll on next February.

Edited by michael sam wild
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