The John Egan Traditional Music Festival 2005
A highly successful Ballintogher Feis has just concluded. Judging of the art competition took place on Friday October 28th .There was a substantial entry with all the local schools represented.On Sunday October 30th the dancing competitions were held in the community centre and dancers came from all over the North West and Northern Ireland. The adjudicator was Margaret McBride from Galway and the accompanying musician was Bríd Donnolly from Monaghan. The music and singing competitions were held in the school and also attracted
The beautiful village of Ballintogher County Sligo, hosted the 8th Annual John Egan Traditional Music Festival on the weekend starting Friday 4th November 2005.
The weekend began on Friday night, with the official opening of the festival in the Community Centre at followed by a traditional concert.
The Official opening was performed by Martin Enright, Chairman Sligo County Board Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.
The concert featured all the workshop tutors for the weekend plus musicians,dancers and singers from the Fred Finn Branch of Comhaltas and a host of musicians from the Sligo Leitrim area.
On Saturday November 5th, a series of workshops were organised to give people an opportunity to learn dancing steps, improve their skills on a musical instrument, learn some songs or to speak basic Irish.
Padraig Rynne from Clare conducted a workshop on the concertina, Michael Rooney took the harp workshop, Paddy Ryan on fiddle, Sean Carroll on button accordion, June Mc Cormack on concert flute, Colm O Donnell on whistle, Jarlath Brennan on banjo, Darragh Kelly on drums, Eileen Mc Cormack on bodhran. Grainne Kelly-Freyne conducted a workshop on ceili, set and two hand dances, Frank Finn took the singing workshop and Margaret Roddy lead the comhra group.
Numbers attending the workshops increased significantly this year. Following the workshops there was a singing session in Higgins Lounge at 4.30 pm and this proved very enjoyable. On the Saturday night there was a full house for the ceili at which the Swallow's Tail Ceili Band provided the music.
The Leitrim Ceili Band were featured in a special tribute in the Community Centre on Sunday evening November 6th.
Click here to see pictures from the weekend
The Leitrim Ceili Band
The Carroll family were reared in Tullynascreena. There were 12
in the family -2 boys Michael and John and 10 girls -Mary Ellen, Lily, Phyllis, Kathleen, Christina, Teresa, Ita, Patsy, Josephine,
Winnie. Their parents were John and Mary Bridget. John played several musical instruments including whistle, flute and button
accordion. His wife Mary Bridget Kelly was a near neighbour. The family used listen to the gramophone and to a radio
programme called Job of Journeywork. Many local musicians visited the Carroll household including Sonny Jackson who played
fiddle and accordion and Pakie Keegan who played button accordion. Other visiting musicians were Seamus (Sonny) Horan,
Joe Lackey Gallagher, Alfie Joe Dinneen, David and Josie Sheridan, Hugh Daly, Denis McMorrow, Hughie Donagher and
Pat Hugo Kelly. Michael Carroll Michael started playing music on a single row melodeon at the age
of 10. The melodeon was bought in Kellys, Kilcock and was a Christmas present in 1953. He learned a lot of his music from his
father. Michael first played with Martin Mitchell and Hughie Gillen who used visit the Carroll house. Other musicians with
John was the drummer in the Leitrim Ceili Band and he also doubled as singer. He is married to Kathleen. She was originally Kathleen Regan from Drum East, Glencar and a member of another musical family, which includes well known accordionist, John. They have 4 boys Shane, Adrian, Kieran and Raymond. All his family have played music.
Kevin Mc Tiernan was born in Sligo town and the family moved to Lisgavneen Co. Leitrim. He worked for a short while in the forestry and in 1964 he joined the nursing staff of St Columbas hospital where he still works. His mother was Margaret Feeney from Killavoggy and his father was Charles McTiernan. He had two brothers Cathal RIP and Christy and four sisters Maureen, Kathleen, Margaret, Pauline. Kevin was interested in music from a very early age and at the age of 4 he remembers visiting his grandfather's house, Charlie Mc Tiernan who played fiddle, flute and melodeon, and his father holding him up to see and hear the gramaphone playing with the light from the oil lamp. Kevin also remembers the local men lilting tunes and singing songs while working out in the fields. For his 9th birthday he got a Clarkes Tin Whistle, purchased in Fureys, Drumkeerin for 1 shilling and 6 pence. At the age of 14/15 he started playing with Michael O'Brien of Corderry who was then living in Lisgavneen. There is a family connection between the Mc Tiernans and the O Briens. Kevin's Aunt married Michael's brother John O'Brien parents of button accordion player, Kevin. The first music group that Kevin was involved with included Seamus Horan, Tom Gallagher, Tom Sheerin, Joe Lackey Gallagher, Hugh Daly, Denis McMorrow, John James Doherty, Gerald Clancy and Malachy Gallagher . Kevin is married to Lily Carroll. They have 5 children, 4 boys -, Enda, Jarlath, Carl, Kevin óg and 1 girl- Mairead. Jarlath is a well known musician on the uilleann pipes.
Michael O'Brien Corderry, Creevelea, Co. Leitrim was born at
Lisgavneen, Drumkeerin and moved to Corderry in 1967. He was one of a family of 10 -3 boys -Michael, John RIP, Jim and 7 girls
Mollie, Bridie, Maggie RIP, Lizzie, Annie, Katie RIP, Nora. His mother, Brigid Kelly, was a native of Killargue, Dromahair. She was
a fine traditional singer. His father was James O Brien. Michael loved music from a very young age and he used visit
John Gallagher's house at Lugmelton, Drumkeerin, and listen to John playing the whistle. His sister Katie would bring records from
England and these were played on the gramaphone. At the age of
Family of the Late Joe Lackey Gallagher
Joe Lackey Gallagher was born in June 1918 in Cloonamurgal, Drumkeerin Co. Leitrim. He went to school in Lisacoghil. His mother was Mary Ann Barton, Greaghnaslieve, Drumkeerin. His father Malachy Gallagher was called Lackey, as there were a number of Gallagher families in the area. When Joe was born he was also called Lackey -hence Joe Lackey. There were 5 in Joe's family- John, Delia, May, Peter and Joe. He learned his first tunes from Seamus Horan's father- Jimmie Horan who played the accordion. Other musicians who were playing at that time included Dan (Fildy) McGowan, flute player, in Creevelea, Dan McNiffe who played flute and Hugh Daly. Joe bought his first fiddle in Tom McGivney's, shop in Drumkeerin for 10 shillings. He did a number of recordings on R. T .E. -He played on R T .E. on a childrens' programme called "Four Green Fields" and he received £5.00 for each session. He was also by recorded for radio by Ciaran Mac Mathuna and Seamus Ennis. Joe worked with the E.S.B. in Ballyshannon for a while and later with his own lorry he delivered coal from Arigna. He was involved in a number of ceili bands, the first being The Black Diamond Ceili Band. The drummer on this band was the late Stephen Fallon. Joe then set up his own band called Joe Gallagher's Band. Other musicians involved in the band were -John James Doherty -flute, Michael John McTiernan-drummer, Seamus Horan -fiddle, Hugh Daly-Accordion, Mick Leddy- Accordion. He became a member of the Leitrim Ceili Band in the early 1960s. Joe married Beatrice McMorrow from Creevelea in 1945. She was a neighbour of the late Seamus Horan. They had 3 children -Padraig who lives in Cloonamurgal, Drumkeerin, Patricia (Gallagher ) Colwell who lives in Ballyjamesduff, Cavan and Marian (Gallagher) Ward who lives in Dublin. Patricia' s family of four have a keen interest in music. Joe's fiddle is in Patricia Colwell's house and is being played by his grandchildren.. Joe died on lst Feb 1979 -He played music on the previous weekend for 3 nights -Friday, Saturday and Sunday just a few days before he died.
Francis (Francey) Harrison was born in Killavoggy. He was interested in traditional music from an early age and he was an accomplished flute player. Before joining the Leitrim Ceili band he played with Joe (Lackey),Gallagher-fiddle player, Hugh Daly-accordion player, Denis McMorrow- accordion player and Michael John McTletnan all from the Killavoggy area. His father was Owen Harrison from Killavoggy and his mother was Margaret Bruen was from Gleann, Arigna. There were 5 in the family -3 girls and 2 boys. Francy farmed and worked with the E.S.B. for some years. He died in 1991. His brother John Joe lives in the family home in Killavoggy.
Michael John Mc Tiernan lived in Tullycooley in the Killavoggy area. His son Padraig recalls him playing the drums and singing with many groups in the Leitrim area including The Merry Folk, the Joe Gallagher Band and the Leitrim Ceili Band. He also played with Pat Sweeney (banjo player) and John Hamilton, Manorhamilton. He worked as a postman in the Killavoggy and Dromahair area -he was known as the friendly postman. His wife was Kathleen O'Donnell from Drumkeerin. They had 3 children Eileen RIP , Ann and Padraig. Michael John died in 1993.
Click here to see pictures from the weekend