Píobaire, An, Volume 5, Issue 2, Page 12

Píobaire, An, Volume 5, Issue 2, Page 12
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
Píobaire, An
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12successful with some ofthem. All the exploits ofreed-making and con-nected stories are legion– band-aid plasters weremuch in demand! A visit to TommyKearney’s home was likean adventure for my chil-dren and myself. Weloved going to see himand hear him play. Thewelcome and hospitalitywe received was almostembarrassing and herefused to take moneyfor the lessons. The joyof being in his companymade you feel very spe-cial. When he played thepipes, the almost imper-ceptible movement of his fingers on thechanter never ceased to amaze me. Tommy,the pipes and the music were one completeunit! They each complemented each other. Indescribing a tight piper of his acquaintance,Tommy said he was so tight he didn’t needany holes in the chanter! Many are privileged to have met and knownhim. He was regal in appearance, alwaysimpeccably dressed in a suit and tie. He had agreat sense of justice and fairness – it upsethim to hear of people being wronged or takenadvantage of. One example of his even-hand-edness was at a piping competition. He had afather and son competing against one another.Tommy knew that the father would not becompeting again because of his age, while theson had his whole life to compete. He put theson’s superior ability over the father’s disap-pointment and decided in favour of the son.He won it on merit. Another example of hisastuteness and fairness happened in Kilkennycity. Tommy got a major painting contract andhad to engage workers locally. He waswarned not to employ one particular painterwho was ostracised by all the other paintingcontractors. Joe Quigley was a very commit-ted union activist and paid the price for hisstance. Tommy wasn’t influenced by what heheard and employed him. He turned out to beone of the best and most reliable paintersTommy ever took on. Joe Quigley andTommy became good friends and went forlong walks after work. Joe pointed out all thehistoric and scenic sites in and aroundKilkenny city. Tommy would not be swayedby the opinions of others. Tommy was a gifted storey-teller. He couldcaptivate his audience with his detailedaccounts and quaint expressions. In the mid-dle of a lovely tune he would stop abruptlyand start telling of some event or experiencehe had. By the time the story was finished thetune had faded into thin air. It was very diffi-cult at times to decide which was the mostentertaining, the music or the stories becauseTionól Tommy Kearney, November 2001. Back row (L-R): Hugh O’Brien, KevinReid, John Tuohy, Vinney Dunphy, Michael Foley and Sean McCarthy. Front row(L-R): John Wyer, Tommy Kearney, Mick O’Brien, Nollaig Mac Cárthaigh andAaron DolanMichael Brophy
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Píobaire, An, Volume 5, Issue 2

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