Thursday 20 June 2019

Excitement is building for Kilmuckridge Song Tour

Traditional singers John Murphy and Aileen Lambert
Traditional singers John Murphy and Aileen Lambert

Sara Gahan

An innovative way to engage with local traditional song heritage will put Kilmuckridge and surrounding areas on the map.

Traditional singers Aileen Lambert and John Furlong, along with Kilmuckridge Tidy Towns, will facilitate 'Kilmuckridge Song Tours' in September, visiting important historical sites in Kilmuckridge that are connected to local traditional songs. They will also perform some songs along the way too for the participants.

The songs that feature in the tour come from the published book entitled 'Songs of Kilmuckridge'. It was compiled by many local people and traditional singers last year. The project was supported by Wexford County Council.

The tour will take place over two Sunday afternoons with participants visiting a variety of locations linked to the songs in the book. One of the sites marked for the tour is an old tree which stands alongside the site of champion weight-thrower John Mangan's home in Ballynahask. John, whose family were originally from Blassknocks in Taghmon but moved to Ballynahask, held a number of world-records in weight throwing in the late 1800s. He died in 1916 aged just 44 and is buried in the Killincooley graveyard.

A number of old and new traditional songs, such as 'The Great John Mangan', refer to this local hero and Aileen feels where better to gather and sing about John Mangan than under the tree where he practised his world-breaking throws.

Other locations to be visited during the song tour include Tinnaberna, Killincooley, Ballinlow Lane, Ballyvaloo, and Carrig Rua Hill in Ballymore. Singers who will join Aileen and John in performing local songs during the tour are Maeve Townsend, Mary O'Brien, Paul Tobin, Colm Brennan and Mick Doyle.

The first Kilmuckridge Song Tour will take place on Sunday, September 9, and the second will take place on Sunday, September 23. The tour will begin at 1 p.m., until 4 p.m., and participants are asked to gather at Londis carpark in Kilmuckridge. Carpooling is strongly advised. Wear appropriate clothing.

All ages are welcome to join and both tours are free, but booking is highly recommended. Contact Kilmuckridge Tidy Towns on or call Aileen on 087 755 2593.

Gorey Guardian