From Abbeyfeale are Mike, Liam and Eileen Broderick and Noreen and Timmy Cotter. – Photo Paul Ward. – DAOIRÍ FARRELL AT THE GLÓRACH

The elements were most definitely against us last Friday evening, with a persistent wind and cold rain making it a more appealing prospect to stay by the fire.  But the Glórach Patrons are a hardy crew, and nothing was going to prevent them turning out in their droves to hear Folk and Trad singer Daoirí Farrell make his debut at the esteemed Abbeyfeale venue.
Armed with a bouzouki and an eight-string guitar, and occasionally singing a cappella, Farrell kicked off the night with the lively ‘McShane’, a memorable traditional number recounting the travails of a Kildare farmer.  ‘Young Emmet’ remembered the doomed Irish patriot, while ‘Windmills’ by Alan Bell conjured up a bucolic landscape.  In between the numbers, Farrell regaled the crowd with anecdotes and a gentle Dublin wit, but the biggest laugh of the night was for the hilarious song about the legendary All-Black, Fergie McCormick, and his unfortunate (and fictional!) rescue of a young child.  Continuing in a humorous vein, the first half came to a close with the number, ‘Leave me to sleep, Biddy’.
The second half of the night got off to a fine start with ‘Van Diemen’s Land’, and a unique version of ‘The Valley of Knockanure’, with subtle difference in tone to the version that is sung in North Kerry and West Limerick.  It was a version he heard sung by Wexford singer Tony O’Flaherty, one of many folk singers acknowledged on the night.  The surreal humourist Flann O’Brien was invoked in the song ‘A pint of plain’, before the night finished up with a set of lively numbers, including ‘The Galway Shawl’ and the ‘Creagan White Hare’, before an encore performance of the number ‘Pat Rainey’.
The worst of the weather had passed as the crowd milled slowly away, warmed and enthused by a wonderful concert by Daoirí Farrell.   A musician acknowledging all that came before him but also putting his own unique and distinctive stamp on great songs and ensuring they will linger into the future.  Daoiri Farrell has been a regular visitor to Kerry down through the years but it seems certain that he will be making a few stops at the Glórach Theatre in the future before he crosses the border.