11th annual Garry McMahon weekend a huge success

Christy Cronin (Castleisland), Michael Fitzgerald (Abbeyfeale) and Tom McKenna (Scartaglin) at the 11th annual Garry McMahon weekend in Abbeyfeale. Photos by Domnick Walsh.
Christy Cronin (Castleisland), Michael Fitzgerald (Abbeyfeale) and Tom McKenna (Scartaglin) at the 11th annual Garry McMahon weekend in Abbeyfeale. Photos by Domnick Walsh.

The memory of the late, great Garry McMahon was honoured in his adopted homeplace of West Limerick recently as the 11th annual Garry McMahon weekend took place over three nights in Abbeyfeale.

Organised by the members of the West Limerick Singing Club, the aim of the weekend was not only to remember Garry, but also to promote the humble ballad and the art of storytelling and ensuring that they are kept alive as part of our oral traditions.

The festival was officially opened by Kerry legend, Denis 'Ogie' Moran at the Ramble Inn who boasts his very own connection to the man who the festival is dedicated to.

Ogie was a part of the famous Kerry team of the 1970's and 80's and Ogie was the Kerry team mascot at the All Ireland final in Croke Park in 1962 between Kerry and Roscommon in which Garry McMahon scored a goal after thirty five seconds and this record has not been broken to this day.

To write of all the highlights from the weekend, there simply would not be enough space to do so, so we will only mention a few here.

One of these highlights was a lecture held in Abbeyfeale entitled 'The Song and The Story' delivered by Listowel historian, Martin Moore.

This talk covered some events from the War of Independence and the Civil War which are commemorated in such songs as "Ballyseedy Cross" "Clashmealcon Caves" and DJ Allman.

Other events over the weekend included a special recital at the Abbeyfeale Church where Aifreann Na Riochta, a song which was composed by Garry McMahon was celebrated and sung by the Abbeyfeale Church Choir.

Kerryman

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