Tonight is Saturday, the night of a weekly programme on Irish radio called Céilí House. For many year, we have been listening to Céilí House when we were in the middle of nowhere (Leitrim:) for the weekend. It’s always been a really great programme with brilliant music and chat.
In 2011, on Saturday the 3rd of December, the programme (I think it was recorded the previous Wednesday night) came from O’Neill’s Pub, on Pearse Street, just across the road from Trinity College Dublin.
This night, the great Kieran Hanrahan, the presenter of the programme, had a problem.
There was a tall fellow there to whom he had to hold the microphone up to so high that he almost got a cramp in his arm. But the two of them had a lovely conversation, full of laughs, so well humoured, with lots of energy and happiness. And it was the only conversation that night in Irish.
They went through the archives, dug down deep, took the dust of the tapes and found that night’s recording. It’s a really really great programme, with lots of Pádraig’s friends (who I wouldn’t have known then) playing and being interviewed. So it’s certainly worthwhile listening to the whole programme.
Pádraig had his slot towards the beginning (10′:40″ – 13′:30″) of the programme.
I am sitting here with him, listening to the programme with Pádraig. We wondered how he would react to it. Turns out, it’s an incredible experience.
There is a constant smile on his face, more even when he hears the names of his friends and their music. But he had never had as big a smile on his face than when he heard his interview with Kieran.
There was a sad moment when Éanna Drury, the son of the brilliant, legendary journalist Paul Drury, who recently passed away, played the Uilleann Pipes (which he also played at his father’s funeral earlier in the week). The Irish Daily Mail, of which Paul had been the editor, has repeatedly reported on the injustice that is the need for Pádraig to ’emigrate’ to Germany to get treatment that he (and other persons in his situation) cannot get in their own country.
Listening to this programme, just about to finish, he has been, most definitely and without a doubt, really happy.
Thank you to all the friends who made the programme happen, and to Kieran and Niamh for getting the recording over to Pádraig!