Céilí House and the Moving Heart in Tureencahill

If Sliabh Luachra is a state of mind then Tureencahill is a school of thought.

On a Friday afternoon at the end of June 2014 Tureencahill National School closed its doors for the last time.

A short while after, the building fell into the right hands. A lot of thought went into its future role in the community it served since it replaced the old building in 1950.

Now its long corridor and former classrooms are busier than ever and enjoying a new lease of life as Tureencahill Community Centre.

Reading, Writing and Sums

The reading, writing and sums have been replaced by: Yoga on Tuesdays; Tai Chi classes on days to be determined; bridge and kickboxing on Wednesdays and much more.

There’s a certain something about the building that whispers a quiet welcome while exuding the warmth of the locality.

Trust the French to have just the right cupla focal for this kind of feeling when they file such things in the je ne sais quoi category.

And, because it’s there, a local and very active retirement group has been formed since the transformation of the building. That’s only one of the success stories attached to the place now that it’s in safer hands than it ever was.

This Very Yard

If not in this very building, it was on this very yard, all those years ago, that Patrick O’Keeffe tapped on and lifted up the window of the old school and told the teacher to ‘leave out young Cronin there – I’m teaching him above at the house.”

Wouldn’t you just love to know what they talked about as they made their way to Cronin’s that day.

The young Cronin was, of course the late and famous Paddy Cronin one of Sliabh Luachra’s brightest musical stars.

There was an array of contemporary musical stars at the centre on Saturday night as RTÉ Radio One sent its latest in a long line of collectors into the Sliabh Luachra musical mine.

Buzzing with Anticipation

With Kieran Hanrahan at the helm and as fear a’ tí, the centre buzzed with anticipation as notes were made and tunes picked and musicians and singers sound checked.

The Céilí House crew had been invited by Bertie O’Leary and backed by his centre committee. A recording room was set up and over a dozen mics stood in front of the row of chairs soon to be occupied by the chosen ones.

A solitary mic stood apart. To this, local singers, Christy Cronin and Michelle O’Sullivan provided outstanding examples of their precious gifts in the course of the recording.

A Roving Mic

The chairs awaited: Con Moynihan, Jimmy Doyle, Bryan O’Leary, Joe O’Sullivan, Ciarán O’Sullivan, Róisín Cronin, Emma O’Leary, Colm Guilfoyle, Niamh Dalton and Michael O’Connor.

A roving mic with an RTÉ head on it and in the hands of Kieran Hanrahan found Handed Down co-founder, P.J.Teahan for a mid programme interview.

P.J. explained and outlined his Scartaglin based schedule from here to World Fiddle Day Scartaglin in May.

It dawned on me too what moving hearts is all about. Kieran Hanrahan was reminded several times that he and his crew were in the heart of Sliabh Luachra. Of course they were.

Where the Heart Is

The heart is wherever the music of the region is being played like this at any given time.

It was, most certainly, in Tureencahill on Saturday night and in the safest of hands. It will be in Scartaglin on Saturday night for the Handed Down, cross-border special as the Newmarket, Co. Cork crew come visiting from 8pm.

It will be in Castleisland over the bank holiday weekend from October 27th to 30th.

A Movable Feast

And anyway, wasn’t it Con Houlihan himself who said that Sliabh Luachra was a movable feast.

Tureencahill Community Centre yard and road frontage was manned and traffic managed on Saturday night by: Donal Cronin, Kevin Daly and Patsy Herlihy.

Indoors, the feeding of the multitudes fell to: Eileen Herlihy, Noreen Cronin and Lil Fleming.

The Céilí House special from Tureencahill Community Centre is due to be broadcast on RTÉ Radio One on Saturday night, November 25th at a couple of minutes after 9pm.

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by John Reidy 2017 087 23 59 467.