independent

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Jigs 'n' reels at Sean McCarthy Weekend

David O'Donoghue

Published 09/08/2014 | 00:00

Johnny Cronin putting Sarah and Aoife Murphy through their paces at the Sean McCarthy Festival

ALTHOUGH there was a hint of an autumn chill in the air, the atmosphere was warm and friendly in Finuge's thatched house on bank holiday Monday as the Sean McCarthy Memorial Weekend closed out with its celebrated rambling house.

The weekend memorialises celebrated songwriter, storyteller and Finuge local Sean McCarthy with song, stories and plain good craic, one of the highlights of which is the rambling house in Finuge's beautifully renovated thatched house. On Monday talent from across the county gathered there to harken back to simpler times when the rambling house and its stories and song were a central part of rural social life.

The house was packed with talent as locals and visitors recited, rhymed and regaled. Tom Donovan of Tarbert, who offered a ballad to the gathering, sang the praises of the rambling house. Memory was certainly the theme of the day and was touched upon again by Tony McCarthy in a beautiful reflection that left the packed room in reverent silence amid nods of agreement.

"What a great thing it is to remember" Tony began. His reflection went on, with that sentence as a signpost, describing the importance of memory and keeping the heritage of rural Ireland close to heart.

Peggy O'Connell, secretary of the committee responsible for running the weekend, said this year's event was an enormous success, even in comparison to the previous 19 years of Sean McCarthy remembrance.

"This year surpassed it all. The Friday night we even had to turn people away, which we were very sorry for," she said.

Kerryman

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