1921 – An IRA Column

There’s a painting in Aras an Uachtarain [the Irish President’s residence] by Sean Keating called “1921 – An IRA Column”. My great grandfather Roger Kiely and seven other men are depicted in the painting. In April 2019 the President Michael D Higgins held a reception for the relatives of the men in the picture. It was a lovely afternoon and the Presidents talk was brilliant. He was so prepared, informed and involved with the subject – he’s great 🙂

Afterwards I was asked to play a tune. The air I played was adapted from a tune that I heard on a tape of the fiddler Maurice O’Keeffe from Kiskeam Co Cork. Maurice learnt fiddle from a man called John Lenihan at a house in the same townland where Roger Kiely lived. I know from conversations with my mother that Roger played the fiddle too. He was a fan of slow airs and sad music so it felt like the right tune to play. I said “miserable” in the video but that was a slip of the tongue with me echoing my Mam’s opinion on slow airs 🙂 .
Thanks very much to Declan of Phaeton Publishing for sending me the video footage.


Here’s another video about the painting:

And here’s a very good post on the Millstreet.ie site:

Maurice O’Keeffe Festival Fiddle Workshop 2020

Maurice O’Keeffe Festival 2020 has been cancelled due to Covid-19 – It’s very sad 🙁

11am – 12:30 Fiddle Workshop Kiskeam Community Centre
with Eoin Stan O’Sullivan
Adm €10

I’ll be giving a workshop for fiddlers of all ages. Similar to 2019 I’ll be teaching a few nice tunes associated with Maurice O’Keeffe and giving a few tips about bowing, fingering and getting the local style. The workshop will cost €10 and anyone wanting to partake would need a basic grasp of ABC, staff notation or be able to pick up a tune by ear. PM me or call me on +353879100087 if you want more info.

Maurice O’Keeffe is a big hero to me and it’s a massive honour to be asked to give this workshop.