Liam's memory lives on through song & dance

The Tarrant family: Amanda, Jamie, James, Emma, Ali and Markie Tarrant pictured at the Liam Tarrant Memorial Night in Teach Siamsa in Finuge on Friday night.
The Tarrant family: Amanda, Jamie, James, Emma, Ali and Markie Tarrant pictured at the Liam Tarrant Memorial Night in Teach Siamsa in Finuge on Friday night.
Louise Brassil, Bridie Tarrant, Kay Tarrant, Mary Tarrrant Lynch, Teasy Tarrant Sheehy and Bridie Brassil enjoying the night in memory of Liam Tarrant in Teach Siamsa in Finuge on Friday night. All photos by Fergus Dennehy.
Pat and Rose Tracy pictured with event organiser Jimmy Deenihan at the Liam Tarrant Memorial night in Teach Siamsa in Finuge on Friday night where they enjoyed a night of music, dance, and storytelling

Fergus Dennehy

Teach Siamsa in Finuge was a special place to on Friday night as relatives, friends and members of the public came together to honour and remember one of North Kerry's dance maestro's, Liam Tarrant.

Although he passed away back in 1974, collapsing on stage after finishing his routine at the opening of the second Teach Siamsa at Carraig in Corca Dhuibhne, Liam's spirit was well and truly alive on Friday night.

Tap dancing, story telling and ballads were the order of the night as event organiser Jimmy Deenihan was joined by Liam's sister Teasy, his grandchildren Jamie, Ali and Ali, and co-founder of Siamsa Tíre and close friend, Father Pat Aherne.

"It's a bit nostalgic for me, walking into this house. I have so many great memories of myself and Liam here," said Fr Aherne, speaking on Friday night.

"Liam's dancing was simply a joy to watch. He moved like a bird on the stage - feather light so he was. Jerry Molyneaux, renowned dancing master in North Kerry, once confided to a close friend of mine that, of all his pupils, young Liam Tarrant was the most promising," he continued.

There were performances on the night by the supreme talents of Jonathan Kelliher, who wowed the audience with his tap dancing while Bryan Murphy transfixed the crowds with his storytelling ability.

"It is appropriate that Teach Siamsa here in Finuge is the location of this inaugural Liam Tarrant memorial weekend, as it was Liam who first suggested Finuge as one of the locations of the two Tithe Siamsa," said Jimmy Deenihan, speaking on the night.

"It's wonderful that we could all be here on the night to honour the great man that was Liam Tarrant. It's wonderful as well to see tonight that the North Kerry traditions and cultures are as strong as always," he finished.

"He never danced with a smile on his face - he was always quite serious looking when he danced. That last dance though, on the day he died, he had a grin from ear to ear on stage and that's my abiding memory of him, as he danced the hornpipe.

"He was a lovely, lovely man and a great friend and we all miss him terribly," said a visibly emotional Fr Aherne in his tribute to Liam on Friday night.

A great night for a great man.

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