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  Cape Clear visits Dromkeeran

Cape Clear Island visits Dromkeeran.

On Friday 11 November a mixed groups of adults and children left the Island for the long trip to Dromkeeran in Co Leitrim, home of Fiachra, Roisín and the Ó Torna family. Amongst them were all the regular Island musicians both young and old. While most traveled by coach, others drove but whatever the means of transport all ended up in the Ó Tórnas spacious house by evening time to enjoy a gracious and fulsome welcome and a wonderful warm meal. As the banter spread, good humor enveloped the gathering and set the tone for a fabulous weekend.

Later that evening we joined the local young musicians and their parents in the village for an evening of music, song and dance. Such a céad mile fáilte, and as the home made cakes and buns arrived we began to realize the kind efforts that had been made to make us feel welcome. We enjoyed fabulous dancing, followed by a dance workshop and later were joined by more adult musicians including our own Ed Harper and good friend Jim Bainbridge.

On Saturday most of the younger travelers joined some intrepid older ones for a long afternoon of scary fun on the zip lines at Lough Key Forest Park. Onwards and upwards, it was a high wire adventure through the tree tops that if nothing else, proved that our children are gutsy and brave. But of course such adrenalin laced fun leads to hunger and exhaustion and led naturally to savoring the culinary delights of Carrick on Shannon before back to Dromkeeran for more music, song and of course another round of sandwiches and cakes generously provided  by the ladies of the village.

The Ó Tórnas all seemed to thrive on the invasion and provided accommodation for many. It was great to see Jim and Marie again who now live in nearby Rooskey and also Patrick Cassidy who flew in from Manchester for the party !.

Dromkeeran is a beautiful place, a small village, like many in Rural Ireland today facing challenges but nevertheless extremely well kept and with a great sense of community and local pride. We hope someday soon that they may arrange a reciprocal visit to Oileán Chléire and give us an opportunity to repay the kindness and hospitality we enjoyed. Go raibh maith agaibh ar fad, our fabulous musicians, their fabulous musicians, the Ó Tórnas, Con the bus driver, makers of sandwiches, dancers, singers and all likeminded lads and lassies who created a weekend of good memories to cherish.

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