0:00 - Growing up on Inishboffin & musical career

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des grew up on Inishboffin, an island off the coast of Co. Galway. He went to London in 1959 and spent 22 years there. He mentions musicians he knew in London and his later career as a professional musician with Sharon Shannon's band.

Keywords: Co Galway; Learning music; Musicians

Subjects:

1:59 - Emigration

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des talks about his own decision to emigrate and historical patterns of migration from Inishboffin.

Keywords: Co Galway; Emigration

Subjects:

3:07 - Work & return migration

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des worked first in a factory and later in construction. He describes how he ended up returning to live in Ireland almost by accident because he was back over Christmas and got sick.

Keywords: Return migration; Work

Subjects:

4:18 - Playing as a duo with his brother Vincent

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des and his younger brother Vincent played together for about 15 years in London, mostly in pubs and for weddings. They also made an album together, 'The Men of the Island'.

Keywords: London; Musicians; Pubs; Recordings

Subjects:

5:56 - Songs, dance halls, and the Irish community in London

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des used to occasionally sing sean-nós songs in the pubs in London. He says he didn't go to the dance halls much. Overall, he felt the Irish community in London was strong and tight-knit.

Keywords: Dance halls; Irish in Britain; London; Singing

Subjects:

8:00 - Singing, competitions, and touring

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des entered the Comhaltas competitions singing a few times. He won the All-Britain championship three times and the All-Ireland once. Later, he toured with Sharon Shannon's band and he talks about the places they went.

Keywords: Musicians; Singing

Subjects:

10:04 - Returning to Ireland and changes

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des describes how the population of Inishboffin has declined over time. Now it is a tourist destination in the summer and the boats that go out there are faster than the ones when he was young. His brother Vincent had remained living in London, but was able to return to visit the island before he died.

Keywords: Change; Return migration

Subjects:

11:51 - Vince Milne and life in London

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des asks about his friend Vince Milne. They used to live together for a while in London.

Keywords: London; Musicians

Subjects:

12:57 - Albums

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des and Vincent's album 'The Men of the Island' (Topic Records) was recorded in the crypt of a church London in the space of several hours. Des's more recent album, 'The Pound Road' is stylistically very different, with mostly modern songs. He says he learned most of the songs in England.

Keywords: Recordings

Subjects:

15:10 - Emigration & Irish music in London

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des left Ireland at age 19. He mentions a few memorable occasions and people from his time in London.

Keywords: London; Migration; Musicians; Pubs

Subjects:

16:55 - Family and visits back to Ireland

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: While he lived in London, Des made regular trips back to Ireland. He had eight brothers and sisters. His older brother Christy played accordion and his mother played a bit as well.

Keywords: Family; Migration

Subjects:

18:07 - Dances and American wakes

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Des talks about dances that he remembers in the school hall on Inishboffin. There would also be house dances, particularly if someone was leaving for America. He says he once thought about migrating to America but never did.

Keywords: America; Dancing; Migration

Subjects:

Search This Index
SearchClear