Tuesday 6 December 2016

Music brought consolation on that black day

Reality was suspended as we entertained at a festival in Norway, writes John Sheahan of The Dubliners

Published 31/07/2011 | 05:00

Barney, Sean, Eamonn, Patsy and myself flew into Oslo and drove west for three hours through breathtaking scenery to the town of Bo. We attended dinner arranged in our honour by renowned local Hardanger fiddle player, Torgeir Straand. An inevitable impromptu session followed. A truce was called in the early hours.

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Next evening, we assembled to go to the festival site. A silent huddle of souls gathered round the television in the hotel lobby. Facial expressions reflected a sense of disbelief as news of a crime against humanity unfolded.

A car bomb had just exploded at government buildings in Oslo, claiming the lives of several people and causing extensive damage. First suspicions were that an international terrorist organisation was responsible. Later, news filtered through that a lone Norwegian was the perpetrator.

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