Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 40, Page 12
Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 40, Page 12
Na Píobairí Uilleann
23Photo courtesy of Michael MurphyCheoil na hÉireann washeld in Longford and theMunster Céilí BandCompetition was held onthe same weekend.During the earlier flead-hanna the winners wouldcompete the followingday with the other final-ists on the Monday ofthe Bank holiday. TheLaictín Naofa Céilí Bandwon the Munster withthe Kilfenora and Tullabands taking second andthird places respectiveti-ly. The Kilfenora andTulla bands were in theirhey-day at the time andto win the Munster alonewas a great achievementagainst such talentedbands. The followingyear the Laictín NaofaCéilí Band recorded anL/P titled An Irish DanceParty. The Tulla Céilí BandI was standing beside J.C at the Céilí BandCompetition at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann inThurles in 1959. He was not at that stageplaying with the Tulla Céilí Band. They had astar studded line-up and were playing fantas-tically. To this day I can recall the selections.They played “The Old Grey Goose” and “TheHumours of Clonmel” as their jig selection.However, it was during the final selection ofreels finishing up with “The Bucks of Oran-more” that the drummer who was playingwith them on that occasion got a bit excitedand used the full drum kit including the cym-bal, top hat, with an accompanying off-beatrhythm. I was fascinated with this perform-ance as I saw similarities with the style of setdancing and the type of drumming with Clarebands. But J.C., the experienced bandsman,instantly knew they had lost as this sort ofinnovation was not welcome or encouraged.It seemed that apart from the basic use of thesnare and bass drum, céilí band drummerswere restricted to the odd ubiquitous use ofthe wooden block at all too predictable inter-vals. After the Laictín Naofa Céilí Band disbandedJ.C. Talty was invited to play with the TullaCéilí Band. He played with this distinguishedband for nearly forty years. He was proud ofhis involvement with this prestigious band.His loyalty and musicianship were appreciat-ed by his fellow bandsmen and he forged life-long friendships with the members of thisband over the decades. It was while he was onThe Tulla Céilí BandBack row, standing, left to right: J.C. Talty, Martin Vaughan, Georgie Byrt, P.J.Hayes. Seated: Michael Flanagan, Michael Murphy, Martin Hayes and MichaelMcKee22Photo courtesy of Bríd O’Donohue.Martin and Junior Crehan wore distinctivecloth caps which, in my opinion, added totheir stature. On one occasion, PeterO’Loughlin won the fiddle, flute and pipes. Irecall when J.C. competed and won the flutecompetition which was held in the Oak Roomin the Mansion House, Dublin. He played“The Flogging Reel” as his final piece and Iknew he was the clear winner at this stage, heplayed masterfully. The Pipers’ Club Whenever the Clare pipers were in Dublin forcompetitions or broadcasts, they invariablyvisited the Pipers’ Club, then located at 14Thomas Street, where Leo Rowsome wasteaching on a Saturday night. It was Leo’spractice to play afterwards at the general ses-sion along with his pupils. Needless to say,there was always a welcome for visitingmusicians, particularly pipers.Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Clare 1954The first branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éire-ann was formed in 1954. The Miltown con-tingent consisting of J.C. Talty, Willie Clancy,Martin Talty, Junior Crehan, Paddy JoeMcMahon, Seán Reid, along with others,including Peter O’Loughlin, and Mrs. Crottywere actively involved in the early days ofComhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Clare. It waslargely due to their efforts that Fleadh Cheoilna hÉireann in Ennis in 1956 was a resound-ing success and a defining moment in thedevelopment of this new organisation. PaddyJoe McMahon and Seán Reid were regionaldelegates up to the mid 1970s.The Laictín Naofa Céilí Band J.C. Talty and most of the same group namedabove formed the nucleus of the LaictínNaofa Céilí Band and as such competed at thefleadhanna with success. In 1958 FleadhThe Laictín Naofa Céilí BandStanding, back row: Paddy Joe McMahon, Michael Sexton, Junior Crehan, Paddy Galvin, Christy Dixon, andAnglea Merry.Front row, left to right: Willie Clancy, Jimmy Ward, Martin Malone, J.C. Talty, Michael Falsey, Martin Talty and Colm O’Connor.
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