A Wonderful Day At Millmount

During my trip to Ireland in May, I was invited by Martin Doyle to attend a small but lively gathering of Irish traditional musicians at Millmount in the historic town of Drogheda, County Louth. I took the train from Dublin and arrived in time to have breakfast overlooking the River Boyne. Despite the drizzling rain, I was captured by the feeling of the place – it’s rich history dating from the Neolithic period was something that can be felt in the atmosphere of the town. My friend Martin has a deep fondness for Drogheda and the general areas of Loath and it’s immediate neighbour, County Meath. That part of Ireland, with it’s strong music tradition, has always been close to his heart. Very keen to attend the festival, Martin left his home in County Clare at 7am and joined us in Drogheda for morning tea!

Martin Doyle at Millmount.

Martin Doyle playing one of his own flutes at the Traditional Day in Millmount.

For the past four years Drogheda has hosted the week long Drogheda Arts Festival. Among the festival’s numerous events is an Irish traditional music component known as the Traditional Day in Millmount. Martin Doyle was invited to attend as a flute maker and traditional musician and he gladly agreed to participate. Also in attendance at Millmount was Martin’s good friend Ronan Browne, the renowned piper Seán McKiernan, stalwart Irish traditional musician, singer and organiser of the Traditional Day in Millmount Seán Corcoran (Seán and Ronan, along with Desi Wilkinson, are members of the Irish traditional music group Cran), Uilleann pipe maker Bill Haneman, flute maker John Hughes and Uilleann pipes aficionado Ken McLeod.

Discover all that Millmount has to offer by joining us for a traditional music day. From 12pm until 5pm the festival presents activities for all the family, including an outdoor ceili session, Irish dancing, story telling and live outdoor performances… Exhibitions include ‘A History of Piping in Drogheda’ presented by Na Píobairí Uilleann in the Millmount Centre…

Wonderful things happen when Irish traditional musicians who have a passion for their music get together – moments of magic occur. This was one such moment…

This video clip features Ronan Browne (Uilleann pipes) and Martin Doyle (Irish flute) playing the tune Kitty Got A Clinking Coming From The Fair. John Hughes (Irish flute) also joins in and Seán McKiernan can be heard in the background lilting with the tune. For those interested, Martin Doyle is playing one of his own flutes and Ronan is playing a very old set of James Kenna pipes (more info on the Kenna set here: Instruments). The story, as I heard it, goes that Ken McLeod acquired the Kenna pipes and they ended up with Ronan as he was the only person who could tune and play them. A lovely set of pipes and beautifully played by Ronan.

Ronan Browne playing another set of pipes at the Traditional Day in Millmount.

Ronan Browne playing another set of pipes at the Traditional Day in Millmount.

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