It’s thumbs up to Adam Dunphy of Glencar, the boy who inspired Richard Prendergast to put together a fundraising CD, Songs from the Past.
By Janet Murphy
Richard, a native of Keel, Castlemaine, met Adam, who has Down Syndrome, in the course of his job driving the local school bus.
“Adam would be at the door with his mum Mairéad,” explained Richard, “waiting while his sisters Amy and Orla boarded the bus. One morning I gave him the thumbs up sign and he did the same back to me, and after that, he was first at the door every morning waiting to greet me.”
Gentle Act of Friendship
This gentle act of friendship brought about a desire in Richard to ‘do something’ to support those with Down Syndrome. Richard, an All Ireland finalist in Sean-nós singing in 1974, mulled over his options and decided to utilise his musical ability in compiling a CD – his first – from his repertoire of traditional ‘songs from the past’.
Richard contacted Pat Donegan at Pats Tracks Studio and arranged a meeting to discuss his idea.
They met at Pat’s studio in Causeway and less than eight hours later, the CD was recorded. “I had a list of songs when I got there – but I never expected to get it all done there and then”. said Richard.
Listowel Writers’ Week
Richard won first place in the ballad category of the first Listowel Writers’ Week forty years ago with his rendition of Scartaglin man, John Galvin’s song The Roving Fiddler Man, a song about Sliabh Luachra fiddle master, Patrick O’Keeffe.
The CD has 12 tracks (11 songs, one recitation), a combination of traditional songs like the tragic John Twiss from Castleisland and nostalgic The Meet was at Matthews, to the less familiar From Inch to Castlemaine written by Moss Prendergast, Richard’s late uncle.
If you are one of those people who enjoys the spontaneous, late night song in a hushed bar, you will love this CD.
The album, produced by the talented musician and photographer, Pat Donegan, has an appropriate image of Glencar on the cover, photographed by Philip Tindall of EasyDesign.
It can be purchased for the sum of €10 from a number of outlets around the county including: Deenagh Lodge Tea Rooms and the 321 shop in High Street, Tralee, all proceeds to Down Syndrome Kerry.
All enquiries to Richard Prendergast, 087 76 29 386.