Seán Clarach MacDomhnaill Evening at Booney House, Churchtown


The annual Seán Clárach cultural and musical event took place at the Booney House on Friday last. The event was organised as usual, by Noel Linehan who acted as master of ceremonies.  In welcoming guests, host Gerry Murphy outlined both the tradition of the event and the history of Churchtown Historical and Heritage Society. Denis Hickey presented a brief history of Seán Clárach laying particular emphasis on the poet’s Churchtown heritage. Piper Philip Cotter, banjoist Noel Fitzgibbon and violinist, Nora Buckley provided an opening medley. Noel and Philip later entertained with some popular Scottish airs while Nora’s rendition of the Coolin left us spellbound.

Denny Hawe demonstrated his versatility on both mouth organ and accordion, while P J O’Driscoll’s interpretation of ‘Raglan Road’ was an absolute joy. Making her second appearance at the Booney House young Éabha Sampson delighted all with her violin solo while Rosario Buckley’s ‘Fields of Athenry’ evoked memories of Munster and Thomond Park. Along with her rhythmic accompaniment on the spoons, Mairéad Nagle told one of her legions of funny stories. Helen Daly gave us a beautiful hymn to St. Brigid which was new to many of the listeners.

Patsy Cahill sang the The Massacre at Glencoe about the battle between the Campbells and MacDonnells in 1692 in the Jacobite era. The song in Scottish Gaelic is called Mort Ghlinne Comhann. Patsy also sang The Boys from the County Cork.

Charlie Conway regaled us with some typical Cork humour and compatriot Joan Goggin entertained with two witty songs. Con Warren held us spellbound with the plaintive Slan le Maigh and his version of Mo Ghile Mear had us all joining in the chorus. Gerry Murphy closed the event with the wonderful news that in collaboration with Dr. Liam O Murchu (U.C.C.), the Churchtown Heritage and Histroical Society is receiving a facsimile of Seán Clarach’s copy of Keating’s Foras Feasa ar Eireann for retention by the Churchtown Historical and Heritage Society.  Special guests among the large attendance were Lara Silveira from the Azores and French-Moroccan, Jihane Riad. Sincere thanks to Helen Daly and Mary Cunningham who oversaw catering arrangements.