The first Handed Down of the 2016 / 2017 season looks at the life and musical times of local man, Dublin resident, the late Jerry McCarthy. It kicks off at 8pm sharp in the Heritage Centre Scartaglin on Saturday, October 22nd.
Presented by master musician, Paudie O’Connor whose father was a Ballinthourig man and mother from Kilsarcon. Paudie will take a look at the life, music and story of the great fiddle player, the late Jerry McCarthy from Gortglass. There is video footage and rare recordings made in Cordal in 1969 on the night’s programme.
Paudie will also play on the night with his wife Aoife Ni Chaoimh and their daughter Roisín on fiddle. Roisín will be making her first musical visit to Scartaglin.
“Our other young musicians are: James O’Mahony on fiddle who is a grandson of Jerry McCarthy Bronagh and Shane Browne on fiddle and box are grandchildren of the late Dan Jerimiah O Connor of Scartaglin,” said Handed Down / World Fiddle Day Scartaglin founder member PJ Teahan.
Universally Liked and Respected
To be universally liked and respected as a musician and by one’s peers is a rare achievement. That was Jerry McCarthy’s lot in life.
Mary Jones sent the late Mike Kenny and myself out the Scart Road to Tonbwee on the first ever evening of the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival in October 1993.
Our mission was to collect Jerry McCarthy from his sisters’ house there. I knew Jerry when I was a child as he called to my father regularly. He often cycled back and over the Tralee Road as our neighbour, Mrs. Nelligan was one of his sisters.
Mr. Kenny and myself brought Jerry to Charlie Horan’s Bar that evening and, as Mary was renting the bar and doubling as festival president, the weekend got of to an unofficial but wonderfully musical start. He was joined there by: Denis McMahon, Johnny O’Leary, Paddy Cronin and Tim Kiely.
Met Old Friends
As the event progressed and sessions spread out over all the pubs in town over the long weekend, Jerry was in great demand. At every hand’s turn he met old friends and they wanted him to play a slow air.
Jerry’s haunting playing of An Chúilfhionn was what most people wanted to hear and that’s what they got from the obliging and one-time insurance salesman.
Towards to end of the weekend we met up with Jerry again and, in reflective mood on the storm of traditional music which had just hit our little town, we all had our own take on it.
He was again prevailed upon to open the fiddle case, resin the bow and guess what?
Chúilfhionn Burned Out
“Jesus I’ve the Chúilfhionn burned out boys,” was Jerry’s remark before he brilliantly obliged again.
His burning out the Chúilfhionn remark came back to me a short couple of year’s later when Pat ‘Mitch’ Mitchell asked me to come up with something to remember him with for a concert dedicated to his memory at the 1995 festival.
I took his words from 1993 quite literally and burned a hole in a page of sheet music and inserted a photograph of him from that same weekend.
The festival committee got it framed and presented it to his daughter, Siobhán at the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival concert in 1995.
Back Up to Handed Down
Special guest in Scart on October 22nd is Aidan Connolly of Dublin whose mother Eileen and uncle Con Moynihan are Gneeveguilla natives and former pupils of Nicky McAulliffe. Aidan is coming to Scartaglin to showcase music from his new CD prior to its launch at Browne’s Bar on Saturday evening, October 29th during the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival.
Some of the tracks on the CD have Scartaglin connections and the CD will be available to purchase on the night. Patrons are asked to arrive early and be seated by 8pm. Admission Adults €7 and Children €3
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