Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

A friend of mine is doing a History of Inagh Co Clare, and I am looking to help him with the music side of things. If anyone has any information on Garret Barry, the blind piper from Inagh, or any other musician or musical reference to this part of Clare, would you be so kind as to advise?
Also any advice on other trad music forums where we might get some leads?
Thanks in advance,

Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

Isn’t Joe Ryan, the fiddler, from Inagh? Since Joe is still around and in his 80s, it might be worth interviewing him.

Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

There’s a pub in Inagh owned by Flan Garvey. He is from a set dancing backround and I think they have music in the pub. You might try there???

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Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

Good suggestion re Joe. Will follow up.
Its Flan who’se doing the project! He has some stuff, but we suspect there’s more lying around…in some attic space perhaps!

Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

AT GB’s centennial a stone was erected on the location of his grave. Ciaran MacMathuna (With help fro m WIllie Clancy and Marti nTalty) did a radio program for RTE tracing Garret Barry’s footsteps. He wrote a piece on that (which is in ‘The Clare Anthology’). The program can be traced too (I think I have at least some on tape).

Garret Barry is often mentioned in writings about WIllie Clancy.

Twenty years ago there were still a few people around who said they remembered Garret. I met one or two. They are all gone now.

The CCE archive in Ennis would be a place to look, as well as the Clarelibrary website.

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Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

Isn’t Christy Barry from around there as well and one of the Flanagans who was a sean nos singer whom I remember seeing in an old video of one of the Inagh pubs before it became a micro-brewery?

Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

There was a story that the late Liz Crehan Anderson used to tell about Garrett Barry, who was her great grand-uncle. There was evidently a small bridge near a stream where he lived, and Liz said that anytime Garrett would be off playing out in the countryside, he would come home by way of that bridge and stop by to play "Sruth na Chait", or "Stream of the Cats". It seems that in the legendary tale of Diurmuid and Grainne, an evil druid was able to shape-shift into the form of a cat and kept pursuing the lovers as such. In order to defeat him, they threw every cat they could find into the stream by that bridge and the name stuck. The tune was recorded by Kevin Burke as "Bobby Casey’s Hornpipe", but Liz always played it on whistle at a much livlier pace. She was also fond of bonking me on the head when I would mangle a pronunciation in Irish. 🙂

Robert Mouland
www.wireharp.com

Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

The CCE Archive has already been mentioned - you could e-mail Frank Whelan on ceoltrad@eircom.net to make contact. When Garrett Barry’s name is mentioned I always think of his jig and reel which are two great tunes. The reel is a bit like Miss McCleod’s but is a far better tune.

Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

Didnt know of the reel. Is it in WC book, which I have but not to hand. Any good recordings of it?

Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

A great-grand-something-or-other by the name of Tom Barry is still very much alive and kicking in those parts. He’s got plenty to share about Garrett, though I’d say more from the family scandal end of things; he [Tom] is a man who knows his music however, and might have more to share to that end.

Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

From memory: Barry died in 1900. Also that Willie Clancy learned many of his tunes "indirectly" from Barry. By which I mean: WIllie Clancy’s father, Gilbert Clancy, was a flute player. One way or another he learned many of Barry’s tunes, and later passed them on to his son.

I’ll see if I can find more info.

Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

The reel is in the WC book which is where I got it from.

Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

Willie Clancy chased after Garret’s tunes because of the interest his father raised in him. Garret was a superb sean nos singer by all accounts. Quite a few stories survive.
A lot of tunes Willie got came from Nell Galvin who knew Garret directly: I buried my wife, Garret’s version of The Lark in the Morning, the tune now usually called Mrs Galvin’s but is actually in ‘the Book’ as Garrai an Saileog, which is the name of the townland Barry was from.

All this stuff would (and certainly should) be wellknown to the Garveys I’d think.

The Reel was recorded recently on ‘They’ll be Good Yet’. Kitty Hayes grew up in the next house down from Clancy’s and listened long nights to her father playing tunes with Gilbert Clancy. But that’s a story for another day.

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Re: Garret Barry & Inagh, Co Clare

Thanks for all these replies. Be asured flan Garvey and I will folow up on all the leads you have kindly provided. I will check in here o am go tam, so if you have any further info, it will be picked up and appreciated.
Slan go foil