There are people in many parts of the world who have made travel plans over the past couple of months and even weeks. Their destination: Scartaglin and Castleisland. They’re coming from the USA, from the UK and from the low, low lands of Holland and from all quarters of Ireland. All drawn by the draíocht of the music of Sliabh Luachra and the fiddle music of the said area in particular. Convergence Day is May 21st. World Fiddle Day Kerry 2016 is the draw and Scartaglin is the focus.
There are Friday night, gathering tunes down for several pubs in Castleisland to ease us into the weekend. Matt Cranitch will deliver a lecture at O Riada’s Bar & Restaurant also on Friday night. A lovely habit of a few scattering tunes has also been developing over the past couple of years.
However, the main focus of attention will be on Saturday when Sliabh Luachra’s wandering heart will beat in Scartaglin. A day-long programme of events and surprises will unfold alongside great tunes with the fiddle in the role of principal actor throughout.
PJ Teahan and friends, Mick Culloty and Tomás Mac Uilleagóid have been working on the event all winter and spring with their monthly Handed Down gatherings.
Then you had the likes of Nicky McAuliffe, Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly with Emma O’Leary and Maggie Prendiville stepping in and out and playing blinders on the wings. You’ll hear a lot more details over the coming days and week.
In the course of their Handed Down nights they have uncovered several historical and music related treasures. The most precious of these are being kept secret to be uncovered only on World Fiddle Day itself and in Scartaglin by a VIP.
Scartaglin and the Heritage Project 1994 – 1997
Talking about Scartaglin and heritage: I recall being sent there by The Kerryman years ago to cover an ongoing research project by a group of locals.
I asked several times since about the whereabouts of the material which resulted from the project – but alas, nobody seems to know.
The material would be invaluable now as the project participants interviewed and voice recorded people from around the parish and beyond. I believe there was some video footage also captured at that time.
In the course of their research the FÁS course participants uncovered a long forgotten and overgrown mass rock and they collected a mine of folk tales and ghost stories from the elderly of the surrounding areas. The course began in December 1994 and culminated in an exhibition in Tom Fleming’s Bar in February 1997.
The plan at the time wasn’t written in stone or anything, but as the heritage centre was at a notional stage then, it was said that the project material would be displayed and stored there. If anyone knows where the material can be accessed I’d appreciate a call on: 087 23 59 467 or an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the World Fiddle Day programme you can click on the link here: http://www.mainevalleypost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Press-release-WFD-2016.docx.pdf