Monday 14 October 2019

Historical Society shows another side to the legendary Ennis

Balbriggan Beat

While there are plenty of musical events to commemorate the life of the great uilleann piper, Seamus Ennis, around Fingal in this, his centenary year, the legendary musician will also be the subject of a number of interesting talks and lectures.

That was the case recently as the members of the Balbriggan and District Historical Society gathered at the Town Hall in Balbriggan to hear about Ennis' work as a folklorist and collector of traditional music.

This fascinating event took the form of an illustrated lecture by Seán Corcoran and the talk was very well attended by members of the society and those interested in the extraordinary life and work of this giant of traditional music.

Séamus Ennis whose birth 100 years ago is being celebrated this year all over Fingal, a place he lived in had numerous close connections with.

Drogheda native Seán Corcoran is a performer, academic and radio and TV documentary maker and an internationally-recognised expert on Irish Folk Music and Song.

From the late 1960s he pioneered fieldwork/collecting techniques and at present lectures in Irish Music at Mary I College, University of Limerick and it was he that delivered this fascinating lecture.

We all know about the Séamus Ennis Centre in Naul and many of you knew Séamus Ennis himself.

But do you know about his immense contribution to the collection and preservation of our wonderful musical heritage. Séamus Ennis was renowned as a master uilleann piper but this lecture highlights his extraordinary work and international importance as a folk music collector.

That was the subject of Seán's talk as he enlightened local history and traditional music enthusiasts at the fascinating lecture.

In what has been a busy couple of weeks for the Balbriggan and District Historical Society, there was also a fundraising table quiz held for the group in the Milestone Inn last Thursday which raised welcome funds for the group to continue their activities in contributing to the knowledge of the local community on its history.

A spokesperson for the society thanked everyone who came along to the talk and indeed to that vital fundraising table quiz.

'I hope you all enjoyed our talk on Séamus Ennis by Seán Corcoran and it was great to see such a big crowd.'

Not ones to rest on their laurels are this society and preparations are already in train for their next talk which will be given by Aiden Herron on April 24th.

This time the talk will be on the subject of Ardgillan Castle and some of the historical secrets the property holds.

Aiden recently published a book called Ardgillan Unveiled where he delves into that fascinating history in great detail.

The book was launched some months ago at the castle itself with the help of none other than Newstalk's Pat Kenny and is a fascinating read and great fuel for another great Balbriggan and District Historical Society talk and it is sure to be one not to be missed.

Fingal Independent