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Reinhard Martin Carthy irish ancestor (9) RE: Martin Carthy irish ancestor 03 Jun 19

Irish newspaper Independent wrote in 2012:

Kerry home-coming for British folk legend

ONE of the Britain's greatest folk musicians is headlining a north Kerry festival next month, commemorating his famous musical ancestor from the region.

The Ballybunion Chanters Festival takes place on the weekend of November 23 to 25, commemorating the piper Tom McCarthy (1799 - 1904) who became an icon of life in the town throughout the 19th Century. He played the pipes regularly on the Castle Green for 65 years and was immortalised on Ballybunion postcards of the era.

Now, his descendant Martin Carthy is to headline the festival set up to honour the piper. Martin Carthy is a former member of Steeleye Span and the man whose arrangement of Scarborough Fair became a massive hit for Simon and Garfunkel.

Martin Carthy - who remains a huge name in the world of English folk music - has spoken often of the importance of his Ballybunion relative.

"Good folk music is like me holding my grandchildren and wanting to know more about my great, great, great uncle - I've got a picture of him - Tom Carthy from Ballybunion, County Kerry. I see his fingers on the uilleann pipes, and I see my father's hands and my grandfather's hands. The continuity of folk music is similar, because it is also our continuity," he told The Observer in a recent interview.

Festival organisers were delighted to secure the London native. "Among the many fine musicians we have engaged for the festival, we are fortunate in having secured Martin Carthy, the renowned English singer and guitarist, who is a great-great-great-nephew of the 'Ballybunion Piper'," chairperson of the Chanters Festival committee Paul de Grae said.

The Saturday night of the festival will host a showcase concert of uileann piping and singing at The Cliff House Hotel, among other events. The cream of Kerry talent will also be taking part including Seán Breen, Danny O'Mahony, Maura Galvin, Sonny Egan, Seán Garvey, Donie Lyons, Dave Hegarty, Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaíoch and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh.

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