It’s a rare occasion indeed that a rendering of My Native Brosna Town isn’t sung in celebration or in sadness in the village for which it was so loving written and so clearly associated.
Christenings, weddings, wakes and funerals are all ideal occasions on which to give vent to one of the finest local songs ever.
Daniel J. ‘Danny’ Hannon, who was born in Knockawinna wrote the song, as an exile in America – where he lived from 1948 until he died on October 26th 1989.
Now, a festival in his honour is in its second year in his native Brosna town and there is an impressive list of events making up the weekend long celebration.
Daniel J. Hannon was born and raised in Knockawinna, Brosna in the same townland as Denis Guiney of Guineys & Clery’s Deptartment Store in Dublin.
As a child he attended Knockaclarig National School and was renowned as being very bright.
It was planned that he would be sent to St.Brendan’s in Killarney but had to stay and help his mother as his father died young.
The Old Forestry Commission
His father David Hannon worked for the old Forestry Commission. Daniel worked for the Land Commision on the roads until around 1948.
His mother Deborah Hannon (nee Sheahan) was caretaker of Knockaclarig Church – which his brother David ‘Sonny’ helped to build in the 1950s.
For over 40 years Danny Hannon became a well-known figure in the New York / Irish Scene from 1948 to 1989. His life in America began with odd jobs. Form there he graduated to being a bus driver and publican in New York City.
John F. Kennedy’s Grave
He often organised group outings including a trip to John F. Kennedy’s grave in 1964.
He was a friend of Kilgarvan native and US union organiser, Michael J. Quill who founded and led the Transport Workers Union in New York.
Danny Hannon never forgot his native place and he remained a reliable fundraiser for charitable causes including: Brosna GAA Club; Brosna Parish Hall; Brosna Parish Church and countless benefit dances in New York for those who fell on hard times.
In sporting circles he was involved with Highbridge Harps – a short lived GAA cub in the Bronx he was also president of Fordham Shamrocks GAA Club which is no longer in existence.
New York City Fire Department
The Hannon family name is associated with the Fire Department of New York City and their GAA team.
Danny Hannon’s grandchildren have represented New York GAA at juvenile level often visiting Ireland for the Féile Peile Na nÓg.
His wife Peggy Guerin from Kilcummin is still living in New York and they were blessed with 30 something grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
His legacy to Brosna will never be forgotten in either celebration or sorrow and he wrote many other songs.
He donated the ‘Con Carey Cup’ to Brosna GAA Club around 1978 in memory of Con Carey – of the 12 Apostles fame and the ‘Brosna Millenium Festival’ in the year 2000 was held in his honour.
Sung in Croke Park
‘Brosna Town’ was played and sung with great gusto in Croke Park when Brosna GAA Club won the All Ireland Junior Club Football Championship title in 2014.
The Hannon Festival was founded in 2016 in an effort to establish a yearly event in Brosna and one of its proposed projects is to interpret and record Danny Hannon’s many unrecorded songs.
The programme of events for this weekend’s Daniel J.Hannon Folk Festival 2017 includes the opening on Friday, August 25th. with a senior GAA football game between neighbours Brosna and Rockchapel at Pairc na Féile at 7:30pm for the Con Carey Cup with a post-match gathering in the Sportsfield Bar.
John Hannon Memorial Run
On Saturday, August 26th. at 11am. A 3k, 5k and 10k John Hannon Memorial Fun Run in memory of Danny Hannon’s late son.
At 2-30pm: Meeting in The Square for a historical walk and talk with former Knockaclarig National School Principal, Tom Roche.
At 8:30pm A Rambling House with Fear a’ Tí, Jack Roche in Brosna Parish Hall.
Live Music in Kate Pat’s Bar from 10pm.
Páirc Na Féile
On Sunday, August 27th. Duhallow Vintage Club Run with registration at the Three Counties Bar 11am.
At 1pm there will be an U-10 Football GAA Blitz at Páirc na Féile.
At 5pm. A Poet’s Corner with John McGrath of Listowel Writers Group will be held at Flanagan’s Bar.
At 7pm. A Singing Session at the Three Counties Bar.
Further festival information from: Conor Doolan on 086 30 96 675.
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