The inaugural Tulla Pipe fest was held on Saturday, November 3, and as the wind howled and icy rain lashed down on the Wind Swept Hill, a large gathering was happy to be in the Court house for the first concert of the festival.
The Tulla Pipe Band led the concert with a three-part rendition of The Dawning of the Day which included a young solo singer, Aoibh O’Reilly, a lone piper, Patrick Murphy, which was met by tremendous applause.
Guests on the night included members of St Colmcille’s Pipe Band from Tullamore, Tulla Comhaltas branch and performers from Cnoc Na Gaoithe including The O’Rourke School of Dancing.
The harsh weather did not dampen the spirits of, those who attended and Minogues back bar allowed the piping to continue as both pipe bands engaged in a ‘pipe off’.
Early on Sunday morning the stove was lit in the old band hall, memorabilia double checked and tables laid out in preparation for the pipe band’s open day.
The clouds and rain stayed away as the band made its way to Sts Peter and Paul’s Church to participate in mass. The sound of pipes filled the church and performances included a four-part harmony of Amazing Grace from the Choir Gallery by Patrick Murphy, Des and Kate O’Halloran and Kevan Conlon.
Directly after mass the pipe band led a parade of local organisations through Tulla, finishing at the top of The Wind Swept Hill just outside the graveyard. A tune was played to remember all our dead including past members of the pipe band.
Following a blessing by Fr Martin O’Brien, the locals then retired to the band hall for the open day event.
Framed photographs spanning decades were on display showing the band’s long history and success. Old drums, uniforms and banners were also cleaned up for the event and were displayed for all to see.
Mary McGrath gave hours of her time recounting events her late husband Paddy had attended and experiences he had shared with her while he was the bass drummer with the pipe band.
Those present were enthralled by the memorabilia including homemade drum sticks, pictures and lengthy notes kept by Paddy himself.
“The experience was magical and the response from the locals was overwhelming. The band hall was packed and there was great appreciation for the 76 years of history on display,” Pam O’Reilly, band pro, commented.
Following the weekend of entertainment, a cheque was donated to The Clare 250 Cancer Centre through the Tulla Coffee Morning, which was hosted by Kay and Lavender. The organising committee are delighted with the feedback from the first Pipe Fest and look forward to bringing an even bigger and better festival in 2013.
Anyone interested in getting involved in the Tulla Pipe Band or who would simply like more information can contact Pam O’Reilly PRO on 086 6066770.