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13th Michael Hearne Memorial Swim

26th December 2018: The now annual swim in honour of our former member, Michael Hearne, took place as usual on the Main Strand in Dunmore East at 12 o'clock in cloudy but balmy conditions (it was 11 degrees). The tide was on the way out but that didn't deter the swimmers. As usual it was a sponsored swim aimed at generating badly needed money for cancer support services and research. Michael would be delighted that the effort continues in his name.

Happy Christmas

We would like to wish all our shanty friends throughout Ireland and across the globe a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year. We look forward to singing to you, with you and indeed listening to you in 2019: we might even share a pint (or maybe more!)

Happy Holidays

St Otteran's Church

Friday 14 December: For the second year in a row we sang in this lovely venue and we rattled out a good few shanties, followed by a nice medley of Christmas songs. Ah sure it was great craic, there was great audience participation and we really enjoyed ourselves and we sang well too; it is a great venue to sing in with superb accoustics. Plenty tea, coffee and bikkies too, and we had a nice pressie each going home (thanks Christine).

Remembrance Service, Christ Church Cathedral

Sunday 2 December: We were honoured to sing two songs at a Remembrance Service in Christ Church Cathedral in Waterford, arranged for people who have lost someone to suicide to come together with others before Christmas. Candles were lit in memory of departed loved ones and white ribbons were also tied to the Church railings by family members. Trinity Gospel Choir also sang. It was a poignant occasion and all the more so near the end of the Service with the organ music echoing through the Cathedral.

Christ Church


Dunmore Harbour Festival

23 Sept: A Harbour Festival was to take place over the weekend in Dunmore East to commemorate the building of the pier and the lighthouse almost 200 years ago. What a pity it had to be cancelled due to an unfavourable weather forecast which predicted potential storm force winds on Saturday (which didn't arise). In advance of the Festival a new wall plaque was commissioned which is now in place down near the lighthouse for all to read. What a remarkable man Alexander Nimmo was. You can also sit a while nearby beside the monument erected just over 12 months ago in memory of the German sailors who lost their lives out in Waterford Harbour when a mine blew up and sank their submarine, the UC 44, which also happens to be the theme of a song, Friend or Foe (UC 44) written about that tragic event by our own Frank Walsh, who lives not far away in Dunmore East.

Dunmore monument

Harvest Festival, Waterford City

8-9th September: The Waterford Harvest Festival is an annual showcase of all that is wonderful about people of the region and the food they make and deliver to us. The centre of the City is always packed with food stalls and demonstrations and an added attraction this year was us, yes us Hooks and Crookes, providing musical entertainment in the shops, in the Dawn Meats tent, in the cafés, the pharmacies, the department stores and even in the hotels and bars. We sang copiously on Saturday, beginning in the Book Centre and finishing off in Bellissimos Restaurant on the Dunmore Road for the evening shift. It was a long day (starting at 11.30am) and it was even a longer night as we must have sang 25 songs or more to the diners in Bellissimo’s. That was a great night: we enjoyed it, the diners enjoyed it and so did Tony who invited us. We were back again in the City on Sunday to perform in the Dawn Meats tent again just before the Cookery demonstrations. In between we wandered around and sang a few songs here and there. Ah sure it was a great weekend and a great weekend of singing too! And thanks is due to Paul Nolan of Dawn Meats for having us.

Oileáin Chléire (Cape Clear), West Cork

24-27 August: We arrived in Baltimore around 3.30 which gave us time for a pint and one song in Bushe’s before getting the 5 o’clock ferry to Cape Clear. It was lumpy enough on the 45-minute trip over but we avoided getting seasick by singing a few more songs on the Dún an Óir II. Mary O’Driscoll was waiting for us on the pier when we arrived and brought us to our accommodation, which was only up the road from Cotter’s pub where we had another pint and where we sang profusely that night. There was a good crowd there, including 7 lovely lassies from Bandon (or was it Kinsale?...well, Cork anyway) and they sang some lovely gentle tunes, unlike the rowdy songs we sang. There was a few other contributions too, including Ger who sang familiar songs in a different but beautiful way, Leah who sang An Maidrín Rua and Mary herself who sang several more.

Saturday was a glorious day and we rambled around the Island after breakfast admiring the many superb views on offer on that glorious day. We also went into the church to familiarise ourselves with the surroundings, as we were to sing there in the afternoon, and where we met Reverend  Trevor Lester and family, the former rector in Christ Church Cathedral in Waterford (he had heard us before singing in the Cathedral during the Tall Ships Race in 2005). We were back at the Church for the wonderful afternoon concert, Godstock 2018. We started the concert with Farewell to Nova Scotia followed by Orla Callinan (cello), Fiona MacLachlann (reflections), Leah O’Donoghue (song), Thomas O’Regan (readings), ourselves again (Baidín), Aisling McCann (two songs), Trad Chléire (traditional tunes), the first finale (everyone singing Amazing Grace) and the last finale (ourselves doing two more songs, Fearaibh na bhFeoibh agus River Run). It was a wonderful venue and the concert realised €830 for the Church Restoration fund which was a fantastic result. Everyone enjoyed the concert too as the acoustics were brilliant. Two eejits were sufficiently inspired to go for a swim off the pier (the water was coooold!) while the other three eejits drank tae nearby. We were back there again at 7pm for Mass and where we sang more songs for the congregation.

Saturday night was busy in Cotters and we thought it might be difficult to perform but we needn’t have worried. A great night ensued, which everyone enjoyed and there were many fine contributions. Luckily it poured rain overnight and it had more or less gone by morning so six of of us went off walking while Olly Bear rested at home reading a book (How to Become a Millionaire…or something similar). We were back down in Cotters in the afternoon where there was a fun-raising event for the Baltimore Lifeboat and there were contributions from the Skibereen Silver Band, Danny and then ourselves. There were loads of spot prizes and I think we all won something (apart from Frank!). However a stiff breeze was blowing, in from the wesht or nortwesht so we went indoors where Danny and ourselves kept singing. There was also a few songs from a group of French sailors up from the harbour for some refreshment. We sang away then until closed tap joined too by Mary and Leah. Another good night!

We were up early the following morning (Monday) to get the 9 o’clock ferry to Baltimore for breakfast in The Jolly Brise at 10 before heading back to Waterford. The date for next year on Oileáin Chléire is already set! A wonderful weekend among wonder people. Thank you Mary (and husband Ciarán) for inviting us and putting up with us too.

Cape Clear

Waterford Coast

3 June: Not a shanty to be heard and not a Tall Ship to be seen. But what a day on the Waterford coast today. Lovely weather, lovely blue skies and flowers blooming in profusion. Sure it would warm the cockles of a shantyman's heart. Aye.

Ballycastle & Rathlin, Antrim

25-29 May: We travelled to Ballycastle on Friday 25th. The sunshine followed us all the way! We participated in the commemoration ceremony on the new ferry and sang along with Mary O’Driscoll a few of the appropriate hymns for the occasion and then went out on the Fast ferry for the casting of the wreath and singing the Lifeboat song to all connected with the sea locally…We had a captive and appreciative audience onboard the ferry. A supper of fish and chips at Mortons where we sang for our supper went down a treat. Tessies was the venue for a few songs and pints to start the weekend off well!! On Saturday we had a scrumptious brekkie at Mary and Ciarans and then started our Flash mob singing. We covered 14 venues between beauty salons, hair dressing salons, supermarkets, garden centres’and butchers and restaurants to finally end up and the central marquee where we sampled the craft beer, Rathlin red ..lovely stuff and rattled a good few songs to entertain. We caught the Pro 14 final at Tessies to see Leinster perform another classic controlled game of rugby against Scarlets and proving deserved winners being a clean sweep of the Championships and  Pro 14. A lovely dinner at Mary’O’Driscolls again and a few jars back at Tessies rounded off a full day. On Sunday we joined with the Choir at St. Patricks and St Brigids Church to sing at twelve o’clock Mass and Shay did and excellent job of The Lighthouse song and Mingulay while Joe sang a lovely rendition of Bheir mé Ó in the superb acoustics of the church to much applause.

We then went up to the hospital and did two sessions there to entertain the patients and staff…much appreciated by all and we lost a few pounds weight with the heat in the hospital. we were invited to join Joanne and Ciaran for a jar at their house on the way back to the sea front and a welcome respite it was and again welcomed openly by a group of very excited fans and did a fast rendition of Cape Cod to much whooping and excitement …a few more songs back at the marquee and then a very long session at Tessies, while Joe watched Galway treat Kilkenny to another defeat !! We used the session as a practice of songs rarely floated and gathered an appreciative audience in the process…Mary and Ciaran joined us and Mary sang quite a few songs and introduced us to a missing member song “has anyone seen Frank”???

This was a very enjoyable weekend and the welcome we received was second to none topped only by the wonderful generosity of Mary & Ciaran O’Driscoll as hostess and host. A Pleasure to be there and an honour to be asked!

Hook Head

7 May 2018: The Shine a Light Festival is an annual event at Hook Head Lighthouse over the May Bank Holiday weekend, and it was a pleasure to sing there again this year. It was dry over the few days of the Festival and, luckily, there was good sunshine there today, which made it even better for us. We sang out in the marquee and after lunch inside we sang a few more songs in the cosy surroundings of the light-filled conservatory. There were great crowds around, with lots to see and do and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Irish Kidney Association Fundraiser

Sunday 22 April: It was great to sing a few shanties for this very worthwhile event and thanks to John & Patsy Meade for asking us. It was a great venue too, in the Waterford Golf Club overlooking the City. We were well fed as well and Frank even won a spot prize. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, what with eating, singing, chatting and a few drinks. A great night.

Dungarvan Food Festival

Saturday 21 April: Well the sun came out yesterday and shone strongly all day today, which was absolutely fantastic, not just for the very successful Dungarvan Food Festival, but also beacuse we haven't seen the sun in such glory and intensity for six months or more! It was great too singing out in the sunshine and people could listen and stay or just listen as they passed by. We sang for nearly an hour, by the quayside, near the pubs and hostelries and it was a wonderful occasion, not just for us, but also for the large numbers of people who flocked to Dungarvan for the many activities on offer. Wonderful is the only word to describe it.

We adjourned to the Anchor Bar then for grub and grog and some of us went done to The Moorings to watch Leinster beat Scarlets in the semi-final of the rugby Champions Cup. Up Munster!

Monday 12 March 2018

Nicholas Kennedy is one of our biggest fans and he is a regular listener to us when we are practicing and singing out in Kennedys of Callaghane. He also loves the monthly singing session that takes place in Callaghane on the second Thursday of every month.
It was our pleasure therefore to wish him well on the occasion of his 30th birthday. And was he delighted when we roared out "Happy Birthday".

Nicky at 30

Book Centre, Waterford City, 17 February 2018


Book Centre, Waterford City, Saturday 17th February

Our CD is for sale in the Book Centre

Seahorse CD Cover

All aboard

Mooring Page