Speaking about the importance of this new service, Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian, says that “the public library service in County Clare offers a wide range of music for lending throughout the county, and has offered a very strong traditional music collection in its branch library in Miltown Malbay for many years. This new addition to the website demonstrates the library service’s continuing commitment to preserving and promoting the rich musical traditions of County Clare.”
In September 2012, Clare County Library launched the first part of its online "Music of Clare" section on the library website, featuring a selection of traditional Irish tunes commonly associated with County Clare, where people could listen to traditional tunes associated with County Clare, played by musicians who are from the county or who have lived in it for many years. Also included were transcriptions of the featured tunes, to help people learn the basic notes of the featured tunes.
Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery, Cllr. Pat Hayes, Chair of Clare County Council’s Cultural, Arts, Community, Recreation and Amenity Services Strategic Policy Committee, thanked Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie on behalf of the people of Clare for their generosity in making their life’s work available to the library, and the library staff for making such wonderful use of the material. “The Singers and Songs of County Clare project re-enforces Clare County Council’s strong commitment to the arts and culture of Clare“, he added.
Featured singers include Martin Reidy (1901-1985) from Tullaghaboy, “a solitary bachelor eking out a living on his mountain farm after his parents had departed this world and the other members of the family had scattered to the four winds”; Michael ‘Straighty’ Flanagan (1893-1987) from Inagh, who was photographed by American photographer Dorothea Lange in the 1950s; and Tom Lenihan (1905-1990) from Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay, whose memory was such that “on a number of occasions, after a little probing, he faultlessly remembered and sang a song which he said he had not sung for some 40 years or more and had forgotten he ever knew”.
Images above show (from top and left to right): Martin Reidy; Tom Lenihan; Junior Crehan, Ollie Conway and John Joe Healy; and Siney Crotty, Straighty Flanagan and Martin Reidy. All photos courtesy of Pat Mackenzie.
Tom Lenihan from Miltown Malbay at the Kilrush Fleadh in 1967, singing "Stick To The Cratur". Tom also called the song "Paddy's Panacea". Posted on Youtube on the 5th of April 2008 by clarebannerman.