THE seventh annual Nell Galvin Traditional Music Weekend will be tinged with sadness in Moyasta this weekend, as the late Peadar Crotty is remembered. Peadar, who was a co-founder of the festival and committee chairman, passed away suddenly on August 19 last.
After consulting with his family, the committee decided to press ahead with the weekend festival and they are endeavouring to ensure that it will be a celebration of Peadar’s musical life.
Peadar was the second eldest of a family of four and a native of Moyasta. The Crotty household was one of music down through the years. His grandfather, Tommy played the fiddle, as did his father Tom but Peadar maintained that his father was so careful of the fiddle he would not let anybody touch it, so he started to play the tin whistle while attending Moyasta National School.
His primary school teacher, the late Pat Prendergast, taught the tin whistle to all pupils but Peadar and his brother PJ were the only two that really stuck with it and went on to play the flute. Peadar played with the Cooraclare Céilí Band and with a band called St Anne’s. He played at various sessions throughout Clare and in Kerry and Roscommon. He also played for Jean Kennedy-Smith at the Phoenix Park and he maintained this was the highlight of his musical career.
Peadar had attended a Nell Galvin festival committee meeting, making final preparations for this year’s festival, the night before his death.
Muiris O’Rochain will perform the official opening on Friday evening at 9pm. This will be followed by sessions with Peter O’Loughlin, Maeve Donnelly, Vincent Griffin and Conor McCarthy. A céilí with music by the Four Courts Céilí Band will follow.
Several classes will be held from 12noon onwards on Saturday afternoon, including tin whistle, flute, fiddle, brush dancing, concertina, sean nós and set dancing tutorials.
Mass in Lisdeen Church at 9.30am on Sunday will be followed by a visit to Nell Galvin’s grave in Lisdeen Cemetery. Music will continue all day on Sunday in Garrihy’s bar in Moyasta.
Ellen (Nell) Galvin (1887-1961), née McCarthy, lived at Ballydineen, Knockalough. Around the 1920s and 1930s there was a famous blind piper named Garret Barry living in Inagh and he was a regular visitor to the McCarthy home. Nell was one of his pupils and she played both the concertina and fiddle at a very young age.
Nell played with some of the greats in traditional Irish music including, Willie Clancy, John Kelly, Dr Bill Loughnane, Mrs Crotty, Seán Reid and Garret Barry. She held the distinction of being the first Clare woman to broadcast Irish music from 2RN in 1937. She died on September 5, 1961 aged 74 years.
Further information on this weekend’s festival can be obtained from the secretary at 086 3507255 or 065 9051597 or at www.nellgalvin.com.