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Micilín Conlon's Cottage For Sale


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There's ten acres with it, that probably goes some way towards explaining the price. It's not great land up there though,backing onto a forestry too. But the Matchmaking festival is on so perhaps somebody is hoping some monied visitor will go for it.

 

I'll see if I can drive by tomorrow, weather permitting, and take a few pics.

 

By the looks of it, it seems Micilín's collection of hats is not included.

 

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Edited by Peter Laban
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Oh fond memories! :)

 

I drive by there sometimes, when I'm round that way...

 

By the looks of it Micilín's collection of hats is not included.

 

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Yes, I added a couple to his hat collection, from my travels.

 

And I recognise the image of him from Leo Hogan's mural (long gone too!) on the burnt-out hotel next to the Roadside Tavern. I even ended up sharing the spare bed in Micilín's house with Leo (his nephew, I seem to remember) one night! :rolleyes:

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I drove up to Poulnagun this morning, to take a few snaps while there's still perhaps something left of what atmosphere was there. Any new owners will have a lot of work on their hands, drainage, keeping the Japanese knotweed down, gutting the place and rebuilding/extending it.

 

Driving around I saw some places that were in similar state when I looked at them 22 years ago, some, like the old Ballinalacken National School, have been done up very nicely, others had half finished extensions built that were left to fall down again as failed projects. It's a harsh exposed place up there, far away from anything.

 

 

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Edited by Peter Laban
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It seems to have an atmosphere. It must have hosted some good sessions in it's time.

It's not as remote as it looks. The house is tiny, but people spent most of their time outdoors, in the days when they were built.

You only needed indoors for eating and sleeping. And the odd wet day. :)

 

I found this on youtube, a nice session with yer man on concertina.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RRlroiQG9I

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I found this on youtube, a nice session with yer man on concertina.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RRlroiQG9I

 

The sentiment, from Sean Tyrrell, is lovely. But I'm afraid I wouldn't call that "a nice session" - in fact the track annoys me musically because they're not playing together, and especially not "with" Micilín.

 

This is a much better recording of him: Micilin Conlon - Devil on the Griddle, Drowsie Maggie

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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Eugene Lambe and Dick Grant did a few videos to document the North (and some West-)Clare characters during the eighties. Paschal Brooks was their cameraman. There are some nice bits of Micilín's playing in one of those, both on the accordion and the concertina. Also included is Mary Ellen Curtin playing the Green Fields of Rossbeigh with Micho and some cocnertinaplaying by Mick Carucan from Ballyvaughan..

 

 

 

It's not as remote as it looks.

 

Yes it is.

 

 

 

But I'm afraid I wouldn't call that "a nice session" - in fact the track annoys me musically because they're not playing together, and especially not "with" Micilín.

 

Yes, the fiddleplayer can't (or doesn't) listen, just takes off without any regard for anyone else and after a while Tyrrell just goes along and they leave Micilín behind. I hate it when that happens.

 

 

 

This is a much better recording of him: Micilin Conlon - Devil on the Griddle, Drowsie Maggie

 

Honeymoon Reel and The Reel with the Birl?

Edited by Peter Laban
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I didn't really take to the recording of him playing solo. Although it was clear he was a very good player, it came across to me as if he was rushing it, and never really got the rhythm. Maybe because of pressure, of being filmed, and playing solo.

I agree it's a better recording, but it has to be, as he's solo and you can hear him, whereas when you have a bunch, it's hard to pick out the concertina.

 

But in the video of the session, I think he's playing beautifully, and his timing is bang on and very catchy.

 

I don't see the place as remote. It's about 15 minutes from Ennistimon and about half an hour to Ennis and an Hour to Galway.

It would be remote, if you didn't know anybody there, but that goes for London and Dublin just the same.

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I don't see the place as remote. It's about 15 minutes from Ennistimon and about half an hour to Ennis and an Hour to Galway.

 

That may be the case by car Patrick, but Micilín never had that luxury, which people take so much for granted these days.

 

Everywhere is much further away, inaccessible even, on an old Honda moped with a large plywood box (for carrying a Paolo Sorani and/or concertina) on the back of it.

 

 

It would be remote, if you didn't know anybody there, but that goes for London and Dublin just the same.

 

Micilín only had one neighbour, an elderly woman who lived across the way from him, then nobody but (his dummy) "Tom" after she got taken into the Home.

 

No wonder he'd get down to Lisdoonvarna, or Doolin, as much as he could and socialise.

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Reminds me of my young days. I had a yamaha 250 with a huge wooden plywood box on the back. (For carrying electrical items that I used to recondition and sell).

I lost my elderly aunt who lived in a similar house in Kilmaley a couple of years ago. She was nearly a hundred, but she didn't feel at all remote, living alone in that old house. And her driving days were long behind her. She knew every tiny detail about every neighbour, it was unbelievable, the way she kept up with all the local news, and she had an opinion on everything and everybody.

 

We still own the house, it's closed up now, we are looking for a buyer ourselves.

 

That old moped would get you around Clare pretty rapid, for very little money. You might get wet now and then though. :wacko:

My mother's generation used to cycle it, everywhere, and they thought nothing of a fifteen mile ride, and another fifteen home.

And that was on heavy old bikes and stony roads. The eight miles to Ennis was just a jaunt.

We've all gone soft. (me included)

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Reminds me of my young days. I had a yamaha 250 with a huge wooden plywood box on the back. (For carrying electrical items that I used to recondition and sell).

 

That old moped would get you around Clare pretty rapid, for very little money. You might get wet now and then though. :wacko:

 

Yamaha 250? :blink: That'd be a powerful machine compared with a Honda 50! :unsure:

 

"Wet now and then" indeed, you'd need your full raingear up around Micilín's place!!! :rolleyes:

 

I lost my elderly aunt who lived in a similar house in Kilmaley a couple of years ago. She was nearly a hundred, but she didn't feel at all remote, living alone in that old house. And her driving days were long behind her. She knew every tiny detail about every neighbour, it was unbelievable, the way she kept up with all the local news, and she had an opinion on everything and everybody.

 

We still own the house, it's closed up now, we are looking for a buyer ourselves.

 

I'm sorry to hear of your loss Patrick.

 

But Kilmaley would be positvely lush and sheltered, populated and close to "civilisation", compared with Poulnagun...

 

Did you know Tom Eustace (an absolute gentleman) who used to keep the Post Office at Kilmaley? I often used to meet him, back in the 1970s/early '80s, playing, with Peter O'Loughlin and Paddy Murphy on concertina, for the set dancers at Inagh.

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Yes, I knew all the Eustaces back then, as we were sent to the shop every five minutes for something or other. It's only a mile away from the house. That was school holidays, as kids, my mother moved to Glouceter working as a nurse.

Tom was a nice fellow, all the Eustaces were nice people. It was mostly Mrs Eustace in the shop, and little Rosie.

I knew Tom was a musician, I vaguely remember him being on the fiddle and Peter O'Loughlin being a flute player, but I might have that wrong. I was more interested in fishing than music in those days. I wish someone had treated me to a concertina back in those days, I might be able to play a bit now if they had. But probably not.

 

On the remoteness, I think those places are more remote today, than they were years ago. It was very rare that you wouldn't get a lift, if you set out walking back in the sixties and seventies.

I used to hitch all the way from Gloucester to Kilmaley when I got a bit older. It was actually quicker than the bus or train.

And once you hit the back roads, it was very rare for someone to pass you without stopping. (even loaded up with fishing rods etc !)

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