Recently, Christine and I were on our way back to Dingle from
I enquired at the post office about an elderly musician, well known, and was pointed up the road. Stopping at the crest of the hill by a house marked by a metal fiddle on the wall, we knocked at the door and went inside. There was Maurice O’Keefe who is 92 years old and still playing fiddle and in the Sliabh Luachra style that I love. Christine was given a chair, I was to sit next to the master and we commenced playing while the ban an tí brought tea and biscuits. Christine joined in with her whistle. Maurice was delighted and said it was as though we had been playing together for years. The tunes were very rhythmical and melodious, mostly polkas and hornpipes. He maintained it was a new band. When I told how we came to be there because of the detour, Maurice pointed up and said, the man above had brought us. He also said he would keep playing until his last day, and anyone playing music could not but be happy.
I hope that I have been able to convey, to some extent at least, how special an occasion this was for us. Maurice has a music festival named after him and here is a link to a report in The Corkman newspaper about it.