Ahead of Brave Giant's debut album release in early October, drummer Emmett (above) took some time out to talk all things Longford.
What's your idea of a perfect day or perfect weekend in Longford?
Head for a run up Cairn Hill, chill out and take in the view that’s up there. Take a mini road trip around to the many lakes and waterways. Top it all off with some nice grub and a pint with mates in my local.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Longford in your lifetime - and why?
You can’t choose one person. There are so many people doing great things for the county in so many different areas – music, the arts, sports, tourism, etc. I’d like to think that every man, woman and child, who are part of the community, contribute something to the county, however big or small it may be.
Maybe it’s getting involved in tidy towns, maybe it’s giving up your time for an underage sports team, maybe it’s just being a good person and an excellent ambassador for the county at a micro level.
What's your first Longford memory?
Some of my earliest memories are attending club football matches in Pearse Park with my father. Always a great day out.
Back in the nineties there was a real buzz about the club championship. Pearse Park was a boiling pot of people from different communities around the county coming together. Always a special energy in the air with a great cacophony of sound and an array of club colours.
What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
I’ll show my bias here and say the North Longford area. It’s full of rolling eskers, drumlins and glens. I’ve always liked the rough and rugged terrain of the place. Some amazing viewpoints of the county if you’re willing to make the hike.
Do you have a favourite local writer or artist?
Some amazing artists and musicians are coming out of this county. FIELDS, Cronin and State Lights are flying the flag for Indie music right now. Tomás Skelly, Michael Corkery and David Bohan are making waves in the Dublin house and techno scene. Director and choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan is another favourite. Cannot recommend his play, Loch na hÉala, enough.
What about a local walk - or view?
Cairn Hill Walk – view is spectacular.
What do you think gives Longford its unique identity?
The people make Longford what it is. Longford isn’t necessarily known as a tourist destination. We’re not blessed with the geographical landscape of Cork and Kerry.
But any friends of mine who have visited once, return again and again. They’re drawn back by the characters they meet, the conversations they’ve had and the craic they’ve had whilst they’re here. There’s a welcome and hospitality you get here that is often absent in other counties.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Longford today?
There seems to be quite a bit of anti-social behaviour developing in recent years. It’s sad because there are so many people striving to make Longford better place for everyone. My fear is that mainstream media, especially tabloids, may try and sensationalise some of the incidents that occur in the town and create another ‘stab city’ brand of sorts.
I sincerely hope that this never happens and events like the Cruthú Arts Festival, the Longford Festival and the achievements of the Longford people are what’s celebrated and reported in the press.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Longford, what would it be?
I’d love to see the opening and development of a creative space for musicians and artists. A place with a proper live venue for original artists to come, perform and present their work.
The Little Blue Room in Longford was one of the few places in Longford that offered such a platform. Unfortunately, it’s gone. It would be great to see something like this started again with support from the arts council. I think, if promoted correctly, there’s the potential to cement ourselves as one of the creative hubs of the midlands.