Songwriter Jimmy Crowley gives up Kerry retreat for switch to life in US

THE West Kerry gaeltacht retreat of singer-songwriter Jimmy Crowley is for sale as he prepares to swap Kerry’s moody landscape for the bright lights under an American sun.

The fluent Irish speaking folk singer, song writer, balladeer, troubadour and ethnographer is on the move to the next parish to the west, Amerikay.

Jimmy, described as “as Cork as crubeens,” has been visiting the Kerry gaeltacht since he was a teenager.

“I associate myself with this area culturally and linguistically,” he says.

Jimmy Crowley came across this 1930s-built stone farmhouse, originally the home of story-teller Willie Lee, when it came up for sale ten years ago, and for the last three years it has gone from being his holiday home to full-time home.

Now, though, with lots of gigs and work in the US, he is selling up the dune-side home with views to the Three Sisters to the sea, and to Mount Brandon behind, via local agent Padraig Lynch. “I love to gig in America and am getting lots of work out there at the moment, especially in New York.

“The extremes of weather this spring have seen myself and Donie Carroll, like Tom Crean and Shackelton, on rough snow-snookered commutes to Long Island, NY, for a Patrick’s Eve concert to a few weeks later in Tampa, Florida, where you could fry a mackerel on the car hood in a short time; all you’d need is the brown sauce and soda bread,” he says in an inimitable, Jimmy Crowley monologue (check out www.jimmycrowley.com)

Jimmy’s become legally resident in the US, and has been recording an album of American songs with Donogh Long in Ireland’s Baltimore in recent months, while preparing for his relocation from Feothnach, near Smerwick to the States.

He extols the charms of the place, music with the locals and visitors (Mary Black and Seamus Begley live locally) of the sound of choghs and ravens, and views of shipping moving from the Mizen to the Aran islands west. There’s a ballad in it surely, but it is the house he is hawking, so it’s a three-bed traditional farmhouse, in a great setting, in good nick, close enough to skim a plate onto the water from the kitchen.

And all of that for €370,000. A song, indeed.

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