They bang the drums: World record for largest bodhran session smashed in Dublin city
A world record for the largest bodhran playing session was “smashed” at the New Year’s Festival in Dublin tonight.
More than 1,500 participants played the bodhran at St Stephen’s Green tonight.
The previous record of 980 players was blown away by a surge in numbers registering. Many paid €10 for ten-inch bodhran’s to boost the funds of homeless services charity Focus Ireland.
Among the participants were Kyra Downey (7) from Baldoyle, Dublin, who played her new bodhran with grandparents Mark and Maureen Downey.
“We’re having a brilliant time in Dublin today. There was so much going on and the drumming was fantastic today in O’Connell Street,” said Maureen (56).
The event followed the dazzling Procession of Light when 100 costumed performers led lantern-carrying members of the public from St Stephen’s Green through the adjoining streets.
Hazel and Eoin O’Dwyer brought their children Mikie (9), Grace (11) and Daniel (7) from their home in Glencullen to participate in the procession.
“We’re so glad we came into the city instead of spending the night watching television. The children are really enjoying it,” said Hazel.
“It’s our first year coming in to sample the atmosphere,” said Eoin.
Bill Bracken (73) and his wife Terry from Dun Laoghaire led a 16-strong family group into the city centre for the event and said the New Year’s Eve festivities in the city was an annual tradition for the family.
Also participating were Edel and David Murray from Saggart with children Jamie (6), Eve (9) and eldest Jack (11) who said the festival was “awesome.”
The New Year’s Festival in Dublin, commissioned by Failte Ireland and Dublin City Council, has transformed city celebrations in recent years.
“Up to five years ago, the city centre was relatively quiet but tonight an anticipated 15,000 overseas visitors are in Dublin specifically for the New Year’s Festival,” said Orla Carroll of Failte Ireland.
“Tonight the city is so lively and animated,” she said.
“It’s great to see so many families and children having a great cultural experience, It’s free, family friendly, and spectacular,” said the city council’s arts officer Ray Yeates.
The festival included a sold out street festival, the Luminosity outdoor lights show, a countdown concert at the 3Arena, a music trail show and a spoken word festival. Handels’s Messiah will be performed free outdoors today at 2.30pm at Parnell Square.