Sunday 28th May

Irene Dunne – Bantry, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way – 

 

Irene Dunne – Bantry, West Cork.

 

The story of a song is very important to me and I need to be able to connect and immerse myself in it. If I’m feeling down or going through a difficult time in my life, singing has always had the power to uplift me and change my mood.

 

One of my life’s ambitions is to sing opera and I’m currently rehearsing songs from Madame Butterfly with my auntie, who is a classical piano player. We both are not comfortable performing individually but together we give each other confidence, our ambition is to perform at this years Bantry Chamber Music Festival.’

 

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Wednesday 24th May

Noel Burke – Bantry, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way – 

 

Noel Burke – Bantry, West Cork.

 

I often wonder would it be worse to be blind or deaf. I think I’d really miss the music because everyday I listen to music. I just spent a week in America playing music and to be able to play twice a day, for me was like a holiday. Connecting and playing with other musicians just fills you up.

I first started dancing when I came to Bantry, I did a few classes and got into the rhythm of dancing and would visit neighbours houses to dance sets. Its an amazing experience dancing in small groups in a small space surrounded by musicians, it gives you such energy.

Music and dance give you the ability to entertain yourself and others, you can forget everything and get lost in the moment. There is a great love of traditional music in this town.’

 

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Monday 22nd May

Bernie O’Sullivan – Bantry, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way – 

 

Bernie O’Sullivan – Bantry, West Cork.

 

There is a beauty in everything and we must have our eyes open wide enough to see it. My favourite word is a Japanese word – Meraki, which means, doing something with total love and pure soul, leaving a little piece of yourself in your creative work. By putting the whole of yourself into something you gain more from it, other people in turn are inspired by this approach and take a similar path.

We live through, from, and with each other, if you can be yourself and be the best that you can be, then you will have a happier and greater life.’

 

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Wednesday 17th May

JJ Crowley – Bantry, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way – 

 

JJ Crowley – Bantry, West Cork.

 

I’m a retired publican but still farming and that’s what keeps me going, plus a few greyhounds, they are my passion. I travel alot to local meetings such as Clonakilty and Bandon, and then onto Clonmel for the Irish Cup. I even go as far as Clare and parts of Galway.’

 

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Sunday 14th May

Nora Barry – Bantry, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way – 

 

Nora Barry – Bantry, West Cork.

 

I was born on a farm about ten miles from Bantry in a valley called Cappabue North. To get to school in Cappabue South we had to cross over a mountain, which we did twice a day, forty minutes there and back in our bare feet in all kinds of weather including rain and storms. Thunder and lighting would be the only thing that might stop us. If an inspector or priest was visiting the school we would bring our shoes in our bags and put them on when we got there.

 

When we returned from school we were expected to help out on the farm, bringing the cows home to be milked and other jobs. Depending on the time of year and if the weather was good we would work in the bog, stacking and turning turf to dry before bringing it home by horse and cart.

There was no electricity, my mother would cook on an open fire using a bastible pot to bake bread and cakes or roast a chicken. Summer would bring the smell of new mown hay and time off school, we were free to roam, there was a river down at the back of the farm where we would paddle and swim. The highlights of the year were the Threshing, Wren Balls and the Stations.

We lived in a community of farms, everybody was in the same boat, nobody begrudged anybody anything and were happy for each other. We had an idyllic childhood and were happy and healthy and would rarely see a doctor.’

 

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Friday 12th May

Bean Dolan – Bantry, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way – 

 

Bean Dolan – Bantry, West Cork.

 

Music has chosen my life path, it was through music that I first came to Bantry and its why I stayed. There is a rich diverse musical tradition and heritage in the town and it ranges from classical to traditional music, to singer song writers and bands. The support for music and the arts can be seen in the many festivals that are staged each year, such as the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, The Literary Festival, The Masters of Tradition and Chief O’Neill Traditional Music Festivals.

 

But for me, living here all year round, its the more intimate sessions in the Winter that are special, when the locals come together around the fire for trad sessions, song circles and singing circles. All my friendships are made through music and the towns musical tradition facilitates those connections.’

 

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Tuesday 9th May

Rachel Dare – Bantry, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way – 

 

Rachel Dare – Bantry, West Cork.

 

My favourite poem is – ‘Wild Geese’ by Mary Oliver. I feel like its something that speaks very directly to me, it goes beyond just reading a page. I have connected to it so many times in my life when I needed to look back and say to myself – learn from your mistakes and that you don’t need to be perfect, its about the journey along the way rather than some kind of aspiration to have something nailed.’

 

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscape,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination, 

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – 

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.’

 

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Sunday 7th May

Dickie O’Sullivan ‘Poke’ – Bantry, West Cork.

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People of the Wild Atlantic Way – 

 

Dickie O’Sullivan ‘Poke’ – Bantry, West Cork.

 

I grew up in a house without any electricity and no running water, we had a well two hundred yards from the house and also collected water off the roof in a barrel from the gutters, all clothes were washed by hand.

My favourite memories from childhood were listening to the oul fella’s, they were brilliant, they had great advice and lovely stories, maybe they weren’t all true but they were good anyway.

They would always say that getting into a fight was not a good idea, except if it was absolutely necessary, they said the worst belt of a fist you ever gave anyone was to totally ignore them and they’ll soon forget their argument, and they were right.

Other advice they gave was to be strictly honest no matter what the circumstances, you may have to tell a white lie here and there but honesty always worked. Even if I had an argument with my wife, and she was a lovely woman to me in fairness. She might not talk to me for a week, and I’m sure I made more mistakes than she did, but it was better to be upfront and honest and it always worked out in the end and we would be the best of friends again, we got through life like that. ‘Twas worth it all.’

 

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