The Last House In Ballymakea

By Junior Crehan

Thirteen comments

The Last House in Ballymakea

This 2-cd compilation of Junior Crehan’s playing is as a composite of the man, the musician, the storyteller, the singer and the composer. It is the loving project of Junior’s daughter, Ita, and includes stories, comments and songs, as well as a recording of Junior’s mother on concertina.

Hopefully this will spur others to dig through those boxes of old home cassette tape recordings for other treasures from the past!


Thanks for posting this. I did find a handful of typos in the tune titles, which it would be really nice if you would correct. Notably in tracks 1, 7, and 23. Track 5 will link to the tune database if you give either the English or the Irish title, but not if you give both. If you omit the “A” in “A Pigeon on the Gate”, it will link to the tune.

Junior Crehan - he strikes me as a man of taste!

If he really composed “The Otter’s Holt ” (reel), adapted the tune “The Mist-covered Mountain” to make it an Irish jig, and liked “Junior Crehan’s Favourite” (reel) enough for it to be named after him, then - even if he didn’t in fact compose the last-named tune - he was obviously a man of good taste.

Tony Crehan, R.I.P. ~ English concertina

Junior and Cissie’s son is also featured on this recording, a fine English concertina player in the Irish way, which no one could doubt considering his long heritage… While not the English system, Junior, his wife Cissie and mother Margaret, all played the concertina as well… Tony was a gentle man and a joy to share music and words with, whether through the tunes or the dance or just life and humour…

Martin ‘Junior’ Crehan, fiddler & composer, 90 years, died 3/8/98, R.I.P.

“‘Junior’ Crehan - Fiddler of Bonavilla” ~ an obituary from Tom Munnelly

Here is a small extract, the final part of that obituary:

~ Junior had expressly stated:

"When my last days have come I’d like to be assured
To let me walk through the fields that I drained and manured.
An’ lie in the bed where I got sick and got cured.
And in that same bed let me peacefully die
And give up my soul to my Maker on high.
An’ lay me down easy with music galore
By the side of the chapel near Caisleán an Óir.
Yes, leave me down easy with music that I prize
By the side of the chapel where I was baptised".

Tom Munnelly’s Footnote: “I have put together two collections from the stories and lore which I collected from Junior between 1971 and 1997. I had hoped that Junior would have seen them in print as they were intended as a tribute to him. Unfortunately that homage must now be posthumous. Publication will be in Béaloideas: The Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society, (Part 1 in 1998 and Part 2 in 1999).” - 15/8/98

“Junior Crehan: The Last House In Ballymakea” ~ CORRECTION

Tony Crehan’s excellent concertina playing is featured in a few instances, if not clearly, but he wasn’t the one I remembered playing an English-system concertina. Tony played a lovely four-row Anglo…

~ misinformation and my addled brain… Apologies to all… Dow has knocked me about a little and some sense is returning…

It seems I got my Crehans confused. I check my old notes, those I could find and have on hand. I remembered a Crehan that played English, and I remember enjoying that music, but I couldn’t remember his full name. Someone said “you must mean Tony”. I checked everything I had here, including the scratching of my own notes, and whatever I could find on the Internet and I could only find reference to Tony Crehan, son to Junior Crehan and a player of the concertina. Wrongly I let that slide, with a “Yeah, it must have been Tony.” Sorry, it wasn’t Tony… I hopefully now have that corrected and burned into my faulty memory. While I am now remembering Tony, his picture before me with a lovely four-row Anglo between his hands, it wasn’t him I remember playing Irish on the English.

I’ve been enjoying listening to Tony’s playing this morning, nice. I’m still confused. I definitely remember some gentle slagging going on, teasing them that they were a ‘traitor’… Who was it back then who played Irish on the English and who I was sure was a Crehan? Was I that over worked and losing sleep that much that I was hopelessly semi-conscious most of the time back in the 70s and 80s? Don’t answer that… It’s just conjecture… 😏

Dedicated to the joys of music and dance, whatever flaws I might display ~ ‘c’

“Junior Crehan: The Last House In Ballymakea” 🙂

This won’t be for everyone, but I highly recommend it. There are tales, songs, tunes, and the essence of the man is captured in two CDs as best as one might expect. It isn’t studio grade and digitally enhanced, but that is also part of the charm of it that warms my heart and brings a smile to it…

Tony Crehan, R.I.P. ~ English/Anglo concertina?

My addled brain and memory? Not all four rows equal an English concertina. There was someone squeezing one ’round Clare back then, but I’ve been assured by others that my memory here was wrong, that it was an Anglo Tony played…

Seems I’ve already made that apology above… 😏 Lost sleep again?!