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Tag Archives: Paddy Con’s

60 shows from Ennis Musical Society

FOUNDED in 1953, Ennis Musical Society has been responsible for bringing the most popular Broadway and West End shows to a County Clare audience and this year is no different, as it embarks on a milestone performance. Ennis Musical Society’s 60th show is the dark comedy, Little Shop of Horror. The Franciscan Order is the foundation on which the Ennis Muscial Society breathed its first life and, in 1953, the society, then known as the Friary Choral, took its first steps onto the amateur stage. Under the dedicated direction of its founder, the late Fr Eunan OFM, it held its début performance of The Country Girl at the New Hall, which was known locally as Paddy Con’s/The Jet Club and is now home to Madden’s Furniture. It took six years before it staged its next production, Wild Violets, in May 1959. The revived society was by then known as the Franciscan Musical Society. Someone who has been involved since the …

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Remembering the skiffe and showband era

LOOKING at an old photograph from the 1950s and reminiscing about the skiffle group that he formed with his three childhood friends, Tony Mulvey’s eyes sparkle as he recalls the memories. Tony says the photograph of the group, called the Drifters, was taken by his late brother, Frankie, a priest based in Cardiff since 1959, who died in August last year. “The picture was taken in the laneway between myself and Tom Quinn’s house at Clonroad, Ennis in 1957, I’d say,” he says. “Skiffle was in vogue at the time and there were a few skiffle groups in Ennis.” Tony says a skiffle group had a steel washboard that was used for the rhythm section and a tea-chest that was converted into a bass. “There were a number of skiffle groups in Ennis there at that time around the ’57, ’58 period and there were a lot of skiffle competitions going on,” Tony recalls. “It was kind of the start …

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Showband airs in the Áras

AS HEAD of the students’ union in UCG, Michael D Higgins was not too far removed from the showband scene and a town closely associated with that famous era. More recently, and now as President of Ireland, he was brought down memory lane and reminded of what the showbands meant to places like Tuam. Names of famous showbands and musicians were recalled when he visited the Galway town, at the invitation of a local committee, to honour a person who, more than anybody else in the town, was responsible for sending hundreds of musicians on the road. All were well capable of playing with the best, whether it was with  showbands, garda or army bands from the late 1950s. President Higgins also attended the launch of a new CD, featuring the best of local showbands. Since receiving a copy, the precints of his residence, Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, echo to the sounds of some of the famous  …

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