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 site: