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Martin Carthy irish ancestor

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The Sandman 03 Jun 19 - 05:07 PM
The Sandman 03 Jun 19 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 03 Jun 19 - 05:42 PM
GUEST 03 Jun 19 - 06:17 PM
Reinhard 03 Jun 19 - 11:54 PM
Reinhard 04 Jun 19 - 12:03 AM
The Sandman 04 Jun 19 - 03:47 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 04 Jun 19 - 05:27 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jun 19 - 07:27 AM
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Subject: Martin Carthy irish ancestor
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jun 19 - 05:07 PM

Can anyone inform me,did Martin have an ancestor who played pipes and if so was he from CountyMayo and whereabouts in the county, and did he play at a festival there a few years ago ,thanks


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Subject: RE: Martin Carthy irish ancestor
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jun 19 - 05:24 PM

got info i wanted , his great great uncle was from ballybunion, CO KERRY Tom McCarthy


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Subject: RE: Martin Carthy irish ancestor
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 03 Jun 19 - 05:42 PM

I recall Martin Carthy naming Ballybunion in interviews. Good work.


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Subject: RE: Martin Carthy irish ancestor
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jun 19 - 06:17 PM

The significance of this is what? Was there an unpaid Bar bill or something? If he was a Great-Great-Uncle how long ago was the feckin' festival he was supposed to have played at? Would it still be within living memory. Or would anybody alive today actually give a toss?


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Subject: RE: Martin Carthy irish ancestor
From: Reinhard
Date: 03 Jun 19 - 11:54 PM

Irish newspaper Independent wrote in 2012:

Kerry home-coming for British folk legend

ONE of the Britain's greatest folk musicians is headlining a north Kerry festival next month, commemorating his famous musical ancestor from the region.

The Ballybunion Chanters Festival takes place on the weekend of November 23 to 25, commemorating the piper Tom McCarthy (1799 - 1904) who became an icon of life in the town throughout the 19th Century. He played the pipes regularly on the Castle Green for 65 years and was immortalised on Ballybunion postcards of the era.

Now, his descendant Martin Carthy is to headline the festival set up to honour the piper. Martin Carthy is a former member of Steeleye Span and the man whose arrangement of Scarborough Fair became a massive hit for Simon and Garfunkel.

Martin Carthy - who remains a huge name in the world of English folk music - has spoken often of the importance of his Ballybunion relative.

"Good folk music is like me holding my grandchildren and wanting to know more about my great, great, great uncle - I've got a picture of him - Tom Carthy from Ballybunion, County Kerry. I see his fingers on the uilleann pipes, and I see my father's hands and my grandfather's hands. The continuity of folk music is similar, because it is also our continuity," he told The Observer in a recent interview.

Festival organisers were delighted to secure the London native. "Among the many fine musicians we have engaged for the festival, we are fortunate in having secured Martin Carthy, the renowned English singer and guitarist, who is a great-great-great-nephew of the 'Ballybunion Piper'," chairperson of the Chanters Festival committee Paul de Grae said.

The Saturday night of the festival will host a showcase concert of uileann piping and singing at The Cliff House Hotel, among other events. The cream of Kerry talent will also be taking part including Seán Breen, Danny O'Mahony, Maura Galvin, Sonny Egan, Seán Garvey, Donie Lyons, Dave Hegarty, Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaíoch and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh.


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Subject: RE: Martin Carthy irish ancestor
From: Reinhard
Date: 04 Jun 19 - 12:03 AM

And the Ballybunion website notes on Tom McCarthy:

Piper whose Life Spanned Three Centuries

Tom McCarthy, the famous Uillean piper, was born in Doon, Ballybunion in 1799. It is said that he would wander the cliffs of Doon listening to the sounds of the wildlife around him, and on the following day emulate them with the pipes. The piper's favourite place for playing was on the old Castle Green, and this was possible only because the local Parish Priest of the time took on the landlord in court so that Tom and other locals and visitors had access to the castle and its vicinity.

Over the years, Tom played his Uillean pipes to all who came within earshot of his music, and thus his fame was spread far and wide. No-one knows who taught him how to play the pipes, but it is widely accepted that Tom started off as a war piper and graduated to the Uillean Pipes. He died on the 3rd of August 1904 at the age of 105, after a short illness brought on by a common cold.

Shortly after his death, Tom's pipes were sold to a man named O'Sullivan from Ballyheige, and he brought the pipes from Ballybunion back to his own home. According to legend, that night the pipes played of their own accord, and the experience frightened O'Sullivan so much that he bundled the pipes into a bag and returned them immediately, exclaiming that he would not have them in his house for any money.

The pipes then found their way to England, but a family member of Tom's discovered them and brought them back to Ireland with the intention of having them restored. This never happened however. McCarthy’s Pipes simply 'vanished', fuelling speculation that Tom McCarthy himself might have come back to the land of the living to retrieve his beloved pipes!


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Subject: RE: Martin Carthy irish ancestor
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Jun 19 - 03:47 AM

Thanks Reinhard


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Subject: RE: Martin Carthy irish ancestor
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 04 Jun 19 - 05:27 AM

There is a little write up and photo in O'Neill's book (Minstrels and musicians.

A photographic image of McCarthy was used for a postcard at the time, it's quite rare although a relative of his in the US had a batch reprinted some fifteen-ish years ago.

The whole McCarthy festival that brought Carthy to Ballybunion was strongly driven by the minister who wanted some activity in the constituency. That said, he seemed genuinely interested and knowledgeable at the time. Na Piobairi Uilleann held their annual tionol in Listowel at the time, piperss went to Ballybunion on the sunday morning to pay tribute to Tom McCarthy's memory.


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Subject: RE: Martin Carthy irish ancestor
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jun 19 - 07:27 AM

I once stayed just outside Listowel. In Finuge, the birthplace of Sean McCarthy. Any relation to Tom?


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