As the sun set on Slievenamon on Sunday evening, the music of Gilbert and Sullivan washed over an enthralled audience at Clonacody House brining to a close the inaugural Clonacody ’17 music festival.
It began on Saturday night with the Clonmel Concert Band and soloists Derek Ryan, Ryan Morgan and Andrea Ruth Houlihan. The band, under the direction of Mr Danny Carroll, were in sparkling form with music from Glenn Miller, Shostakovich to Whitney Houston to name but a few, a stirring rendition of Blaze Away and New York New York by both soloists was a particular highlight.
The gentle mist that descended for the second half did nothing to dampen the spirits of neither Lyric FM’s Niall Carroll, our compere for the evening, nor a very appreciative audience who stayed to the very end and left with a song in their heart.
The local ambassador for The Motor Neurone Disease Association of Ireland gave an impassioned speech on the need for constant fundraising for the association and how the funds help in such practical ways. Sunday afternoon was a veritable potpourri of activities for young and old alike. With music from the effervescent Pat Marnane and his superb band that were later joined by Limerick tenor Derek Moloney.
There was a tug-o-war with Slievenamon coming out as champions. There were bouncy castles, a very busy face-painting table. Santa popped in for a bit despite he being on holidays. Displays by Templetuohy Farm Machinery and the local vintage club kept the daddies happy.
The lawns of Clonacody House were full of families enjoying their picnics and soaking up the wonderful atmosphere. The finale of the weekend was The Clonacody Proms and the world of Gilbert and Sullivan featuring the Gaudeamus Orchestra and Choir again under the very hard working Danny Carroll.
Soloists, Ryan Morgan, Deirdre Ryan, Aidan O’Connell, John and Nenagh Scott, Sarah Ellen Murphy were all in fine voice. With ehighlights from The Pirates Of Penzance, The Mikado, Yeoman of The Guard and many, many more, fans of the G&S were treated to stirring renditions of The Foeman Bares His Steel, Tit Willow, and The Very Model of a Modern Major-General himself.
The weather was perfect and people sat out all evening on the lawn and partook of a tipple or two on offer and a hearty delicious pulled pork burger, tapas and ice-cream.
Motor Neurone Disease
The idea formed last March to hold the festival. The very hard work of all the people at Clonacody House and local volunteers paid off greatly.
A special mention to Helen Carrigan owner of Clonacody House, her partner Michael Brennan who worked tirelessly to ensure the weekend was a success. Huge praise also has to go to Pat Marnane and Derek Ryan in partnership with Danny Carroll who organised the music for the weekend.
The whole weekend was in aid of the IMNDA and Marymount Hospice in the memory of John Bourke (Cluain) whose anniversary falls this weekend. John, an uncle and godfather to Derek Ryan sadly passed away in Marymount from Motor Neurone Disease but was in no doubt smiling down on all the weekend’s proceedings.
A huge thank you to all who supported the weekend and Clonacody is certainly going to be an annual pilgrimage for all music lovers in the future. Hats off to all the friends, neighbours and family members of Derek, Helen and Michael and Junior Tynan who rowed in behind them and created something very special.