Longford Leader gallery: Eigse Peter Carberry celebrates Irish music

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When I think of the line from the Don McLean song, “the day the music died”, I think, while not dead, it was well-silenced from where Irish music was in our community a number of years ago.

Apart from the weekly Wednesday sessions in Clarke’s and at some other small events there was little to no music being heard.

Last weekend in Lanesboro, the very first Éigse Peter Carberry took place and what we saw was the resurgence of Irish music in the area.

Last weekend was the recognition of music Royalty within our community and it was a tremendous pleasure that throughout the weekend our Royalty could be seen and heard around the town.

Pete Carberry will be long remembered worldwide for his absolute talented musicianship.

On Saturday afternoon there were a series of workshops. which were largely attended.

The crème de la crème was Saturday night’s concert in St Mary’s Hall. It started of brilliantly with an array of some of Ireland’s most talented musicians and singers bringing an almighty glow of warmth and feeling to proceedings.

A full house was there to celebrate the life of Pete Carberry and to support his family and his many friends that, at a drop of a hat, came from far and wide to contribute to the celebration of his musical life.

What followed in the second half of the concert was truly phenomenal and this was where we recognised our very own as Irish music Royalty with the following two families who have given so much of their lives to the deliverance of Irish music at the highest level.

While we all recognise the Donlon name within Irish music and on Saturday night, we saw the legacy of Jim and Vera Donlon with their daughters Teresa, Nuala, son Padraig and his daughter Fionnuala and son Cillian performing to a level that has not been seen nor heard in a long time.

Next on stage was the Carberry family featuring all generations of Pete's family; grandson Diarmuid Ó Buachalla (uillean pipes), grandson Kevin Barry Carberry, (uillean pipes), son Noel Carberry (uillean pipes), grandniece Angelina Carberry (banjo), Angelina’s partner Dan Brouder, (accordion), granddaughter Deirdre Ní Buachalla (harp), great-grandson Óisín Malone and granddaughter Méadhbh Carberry.

The family were joined by the excellent and world-renowned Patsy Hanley.

The music was regal, and the legacy of Pete Carberry and his late wife Trish was clear to be seen in the performance of their family.

On Friday night at the Official launch, there was a Ó ghlúin go glúin (from generation to generation) ceremony where Noel Carberry passed on the Uillean pipes to Pete’s great grandson Óisín Malone and, following the displays on Saturday night, the heritage of Irish music is safe and secure in the next generations of both families.

Pete’s anniversary Mass took place on Sunday in Newtowncashel followed by a visit to his grave in Clonbonny where a recital took place.

The weekend closed officially in the Parish Hall where there was a gathering of uilleann pipers playing throughout the afternoon.

To ensure that the future of Irish music is secure in the area the proceeds of the Éigse Peter Carberry weekend will go towards building an instrument bank to aid young people and develop Irish Music classes in the area where young people will be able to avail of the instrument bank to obtain an instrument and develop their skill.

Thoughts and ideas for next year’s festival are already being hatched and we look forward to it being a festival that will continue to grow and develop into a fantastic festival of Irish music to rival any other festival in the country.

This was a weekend of music for the ages and we look forward to a resurgence of Irish music in the community.

Heartiest congratulations to the organising committee for a wonderful musical weekend in Lanesboro.