Martin James Howley
All-Ireland Champion 12-15 Banjo
Martin James Howley, who won the 12-15 banjo competition at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Listowel, has the honour of becoming the first champion from the branch since it was formed in 1999. His family, his music teacher Jonathon and a number of branch officers were present at the competition. He was as cool as a breeze and gave the performance of his life to take the title. It was a great thrill for Martin James to win as he relegated to the minor positions two former winners whose music he admired greatly. Martin James and his family joined the branch two years ago and have been great supporters of all branch activities. His father Martin(Snr) is an accomplished guitar player and singer and is widely known in music circles in Co Galway. Martin James started learning the tinwhistle in the local hall in Labane with Marion McMahon. Three years ago he started learning the banjo from Colm Naughton at the Galway School of Irish Traditional Music. Last year he traveled with his brother David every Sunday to Jonathon Harty in Corofin (Galway) for tuition. It was with Jonathon that he started to blossom and develop his own style of playing. The title of All-Ireland champion will rest easily with this cool young man who loves his music and enjoys a good session. Well done Martin James.