It was an afternoon to remember in Cavan's Town Square this past Sunday. The event was a launch for The Pure Drop, Carlotta Hester's just published book celebrating the tenth anniversary of The All Ireland Music Festival in Cavan in 2010.Carlotta made over 200 'live action' drawings from the three All Ireland Festivals in Cavan from 2010-2012. Her book presents a selection of those drawings, along with a foreword by Alice McDermott and an introduction by the book's editor Chris Murray.
The weather was lovely, dry and warm, as over a dozen young musical NYAH Comhaltas artists performed live in front of a very appreciative audience at the free concert, organized and presented by the Cavan Man himself, Martin Donohoe. Cllr Brendan Fay, Cathaoirleach, Cavan-Belturbet, Municipal District officially launched The Pure Drop, and his opening remarks took note of the long friendship Cllr Fay has had over the years with Carlotta and Chris, who have been living in Cavan during the summer for the past 25 years.
When Martin Whelan, the Cavan County Board Comhaltas Chair, had his book signed by Carlotta, he noted that this was the first time in six months he had seen and heard in person a live performance of traditional Irish music. That sentiment was spoken of again and again by so many people in attendance. Irish music was back in town, and how wonderful it was to hear it again!
The Songbird of Stradone, Aoife Murray, made a surprise appearance and sang a song that delighted Carlotta and Chris. In the audience was Andrea MacPhillips who commented "she got goosebumps" hearing Aoife sing. There is a wonderful drawing in Carlotta's book of Aoife singing at the Fleadh Mass at the Cathedral of St. Patrick & St Felimin 2010.
During Chris Murray's remarks, he commented on how inspirational it was for him and Carlotta to learn about the tradition of Irish music and to become absorbed in it. He thanked their dear friend and trad mentor Martin Donohoe for organizing the launch and for the sponsorship of NYAH Comhaltas. Murray also urged the enthusiastic crowd to support Traditional Irish Music. He recalled how ten years ago during the All Ireland Fleadh in Cavan, the same town square that everyone was presently gathered in, was overflowing with visitors and musical artists, and that the streets up and down Cavan town were bursting with crowds of people thrilled to be in the midst of such wonderful musical artistry. He described it as "a truly glorious time'.
The Pure Drop is published by Govinda Gallery Books and is available at Easons in Cavan Town, and online ordering from firstname.lastname@example.org
Back : Dylan, Shane and Ryan Duffy, Martin Donohoe, Sean, Niall and Aoife Curran, Charlie, Emily and Hannah O Reilly
Front :Zoran Donohoe, Martin Whelan CCE Co Board, Cllr. Brendan Fay Cathaoirleach of Cavan-Belturbet Municipal District, Carlotta Hester artist, Chris Muray USA and Aoife Murray.