Cameras flashed, corks popped and sparklers sparkled at Herlihy's Bar, Farranfore, on Friday night, as friends and family gathered at Maura's Rambling House to celebrate with Micheál O Se on his tremendous success at the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Derry. Micheál who is the son of Noel and Joan (and brother of Gearóid and Bríd) of Killeigh, Farranfore brought home not one but two All Ireland titles from Derry.
"On Sunday August 18, Micheál did Farranforre proud by becoming All Ireland Champion on the Uillean Pipes and mouth organ, no mean feat considering that he has been playing them for less than two years," said his proud neighbour and publican, Marie O'Sullivan - who produced a huge bottle of champagne and food to help celebrate the unique occasion for the area.
The 'core group' of 'Ramblers' at Maura's including Fear a tí, Tony O''Brien, 'the three Amigos': Tom McKenna, Christy Cronin and Pat O'Sullivan, the Herlihy's - Tom and Kathleen, the O'Shea family, and many others were delighted to be able to celebrate with Micheál on his first visit to the famous rambling house since his tremendous achievement.
Proprietor Marie O'Sullivan stated that she was thrilled for Micheál.
"It was not totally unexpected given his devotion and commitment to traditional Irish music," said Ms. O'Sullivan. "Everyone present had watched Micheál, grow and develop both as a musician and a young man during the past three and a half years," Marie said.
Fear a tí, Tony O' Brien proposed a toast to Micheál, congratulating him on his success and wishing him continuing success in the future. He remarked that he was convinced that Micheál was a young man with a very bright future in front of him and that all present on the night would be saying in years to come - we knew him when he was starting out."
As is customary at such celebrations Micheál then cut the cake, which on this occasion replaced the usual barm brack! Then the music, song and story-telling continued into the wee hours. Maura's Rambling House now in its fourth year and it takes place on the last Friday night of each month. All are welcome.