Watch: These West Cork musicians put a pep in festival-goers' step

Watch: These West Cork musicians put a pep in festival-goers' step

Is there anything us Irish love more than a good a reel or a jig?

After all, it's bred into us.

Look no further than West Cork for a proper seisiún, more specifically, Glengarriff, home to the Jim Dowling Uilleann Pipe and Trad Festival .

Musicians descended on the West Cork town last month in what was its ninth Piping Festival this year.

These musicians at the Jim Dowling Uilleann Pipe and Trad Festival had onlookers tapping their feet as they put on an impressive display with their guitars, flutes, boudhrán's, fiddles, accordions, and even a harp.

The tunes of the Munster Pipers have echoed down through the ages, a testimony to the talents and dedication of some exceptional musicians, and acting a source of inspiration to a new generation of pipers.

It honours the memory of Glengarriff resident and renowned piper Jim Dowling, who embodied the best of the areas’ unique musical tradition.

Jim was born and raised in Dublin and was one of a select band of young musicians who trained with the legendary piper Leo Rowsome at a time when traditional music was confined to the back streets and the kitchens.

Jim and his wife Mary moved to Glengarriff in the 70’s, where Jim set about popularising the playing and making of uilleann pipes and traditional music.

The seisiúns he held in the bar at Dowlings Caravan Park soon became a focus for musicians from far and wide, and those who wanted the opportunity to learn from a master musician.

Canon Goodman statue, Abbeystrewery parish church in Skibbereen. Photo via Facebook.
Canon Goodman statue, Abbeystrewery parish church in Skibbereen. Photo via Facebook.

Video via @jimdowlingUilleannpipefestival Facebook page.

Jim was reviving a legacy that, over the years, has featured extraordinary musicians such as the blind fiddler, Tom Kennedy, who shared his extensive collection of tunes with West Cork’s much-loved Canon James Goodman, born in Ventry County Kerry in 1828.

Canon Goodman ensured that the hundreds of tunes which Tom knew were preserved for posterity.

He collected over 2,000 melodies, now safely ensconced in the library of Trinity College under the title of The Tunes of the Munster Pipers.

Today, his statue can be seen at the gate to Abbeystrewery parish church in Skibbereen.

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