Celebration of Traveller Music 2 – 11.12.14
By Christmas 2014 Bernie, Stephen and Freda and the Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group were encouraged enough by the success of the first Celebration of Traveller Music that they decided to organise another one in the same venue. The Cobblestone has always been a firm friend of the Traveller community when the majority of establishments in Ireland still refuse to take bookings for Traveller events. Travellers are Ireland’s only ethnic minority and yet they are marginalised and discriminated against in a state that refuses to recognise them.
Stephen kicked the night off with a great bawdy rendition of his father Pecker Dunne’s, ‘Me Old Morris Van’.
This time Katie Theasby and Trish Nolan joined the line up along with Bridget Doyle from the famous Doyle family of Traveller musicians, already popular singer Selina O’Leary, actor John Connors, Johnny Hand, Paddy Collins, Martin Anthony Collins and Radie & Daragh from Lynched. Traveller actor and writer Michael Collins MC’d the event.
Actor John Connors who starred in RTE’s hit series Love/Hate sang Tinkers Lullaby.
Nelly Weldon sang ‘The Blue Tar Road’ from where she sat and you could hear a pin drop as everyone fell silent in respect. Her late husband Liam wrote the song many years before.
Paddy Collins also performed one of Liam’s songs, Smuggling the Tin, which he and his father and grandfather before him have been known to sing.
Martin Anthony Collins, with an amazing raspy voice a bit like Frank Harte, sang Pat O’Donnell and My Lovely Nan McCann.
Trish Nolan’s debut performance with the Celebration of Traveller Music left everyone wanting more. Her heavy blues influence and lyrics that explored her Traveller identity made for an entirely new type of performance at the gigs.
Photos by Steven DePaoire and Colm Keating