If It’s Music You Want, Go To County Clare

If It’s Music You Want, Go To County Clare

Eoin O’Neill’s 55-year-old fingers are flittering from one fret of his bouzouki to the next so fast that they have become a blur to me. And his grin is getting ever wider as he eyeballs the panelled ceiling above. The eight musicians seated around him are following...
Benone Strand, County Derry – The Guardian, 2010

Benone Strand, County Derry – The Guardian, 2010

I’ve long known that Benone Strand has supernatural qualities. That became evident one autumnal night in the early ‘90s when myself and two pals, one gent, one gal, arrived on the beach at 3 am. As we contemplated the icy mist wafting above the lapping waves, the moon...
Rolling Around the Achill Sound (1999)

Rolling Around the Achill Sound (1999)

Ireland’s largest outlying island is also one of its most magical. Measuring 20 kms from east to west and 18 kms from north to south, Achill Island enjoys a coastline of about 120 kms and supports a community of about 2600 people (2011). If you’ve only got...

Donegal Catch, 2001

Donegal County. Ireland’s Highlands. 120,000 inhabitants. Daniel O’Donnell and Rory Gallagher. Saint Columba and Packie Bonner. Famine workhouses and surf beaches. Donegal Catch and Donegal Tweed. The Four Masters and the Flight of the Earls. “A pleasant rolling...