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Dave McGilton: News

DRIFT-THE NEW ALBUM! - March 27, 2018

HELLO  all !!....I'm delighted to announce the arrival of my new album DRIFT. I'm exceptionally proud of this collection of songs and all of the songs have a deep personal connection in that they are written about or inspired by the people and places that mean so much to me in my life. I hope that the songs will resonate strongly with you also.

The album is very uplifting and life affirming and it wouldn't have been possible without the incredible skill and talent of all the players who appear on it.

We've got Donncha Moynihan on acoustic guitar ,his brother Diarmaid on whistle and sister Deirdre on violin.On piano and piano accordion  we have Pat Crowley,  Double Bass is played by Dave Whitla and on Banjo Pat Kelleher. ..very special guest on the opening and closing tracks,Drift and Come on Back, is guitar player and the multi talented Padraig Parker. ...all brilliant musicians that I'm very fortunate to have on the album.

Similar to all other recordings of recent years it was all recorded and supervised  by the masterful Sound Engineer Donncha Moynihan of The Rise Studio in Bishopstown Cork.   

The album is dedicated to my beautiful and irreplaceable Mum who sadly passed away last May without seeing the final result but I'm so glad that she got to hear all of the songs on the album when I was mixing them prior to the album being sent for Mastering. 

Mastering was done brilliantly as always by Ruairi Flaherty 

The album can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and any number of Digital Media-I hope you check it out and find that its worth having in your music collection.


Well, its been a while since some new music made its way here....I'm delighted to announce my new song and first release from a forthcoming album. 


..hope you enjoy it...we had a lot of fun recording it and I hope that is evident from listening.

It's available on iTunes,Spotify and all the usual good digital outlets !.....

And the dead arose! - June 21, 2016

My sincere apologies for the neglect of the site...a new site will be on the way...

I'm recording a new album at the moment-I'm recording in The Rise Studio with the brilliant Donncha Moynihan at the helm again. We're half way through.

I'm really happy with the new songs, they sound great. I hope you're going to like them. The sessions have been really rewarding and enjoyable.

More as soon as the album is finished...i'll put up a few clips as we record....

take care,



Extracts from Under Any Old Gum Tree - June 26, 2014

A new clip from Fred Rea containing extracts of Under Any Old Gum Tree the play about Martin O'Meara-the play is written and directed by Noel O'Neill with Kieran Garvey as Martin. The play looks very compelling.

My song  From Collie's Banks to No-Mans Land is also included with many thanks to Fred-

New Martin O'Meara YouTube Clip from Fred Rea - June 11, 2014

This is a link to a new youtube clip from my pal  Fred Rea in Perth giving some information about the great play "Under Any Old Gum Tree" written about Martin O'Meara VC...I cant wait to see the  play, from this clip it's evident Kieran Garvey is a man to watch and Noel O'Neill has written wonderful dialogue for him. 


 Available_on_iTunes_Badge_US-UK_110x40_0824.jpg   <a href="<a href="">">" target="itunes_store">From Collie's Banks to No-Man's Land - From Collie's Banks to No-Man's Land - Single</a>


Hi everyone, about a month ago my good friend in Perth, Fred Rea, who writes and produces the monthly magazine The Irish Scene rang me to tell me of a play a friend of his had written about an Irishman named Martin O'Meara who had emigrated from Lorrha in Tipperary to Australia in the early 1900's and subsequently joined the Australian Imperial Force when WW1 broke out.  

Fred felt that I might be inspired to write a song about Martin and Fred's daughter Fiona and himself  had begun a song already and were in the process of putting it together. Fred felt I should try to write one too as I might find Martin's story compelling. He was right, Martin's story is very compelling and heart breaking in equal measure. And Fred was right about me writing a song too because at 3am on the day I spoke with Fred and watched his youtube clip the song started to come through. This was early on the friday morning and by the Monday after, Donncha Moynihan  and myself were putting a live version of the song down on tape and a few days later Pat Crowley added his magic.

Less than a week after hearing the story the song was finished-now, I must add, that happens rarely and when it does I pay close attention because songs like that write themselves and have a life of their own so the best thing to avoid sleepless nights is to get out of the way and let it come through! and it did come through in a wonderful way-

So thank you to Fred for sharing the story, thank you to the lads for playing so beautifully and most of all THANK YOU and bless you Martin, I hope you've found peace and I hope the song is a fitting tribute to you and the friends that you shared the most difficult of times with-sleep well and dream. 


The song is available on iTunes and through the website here. 

Here's some info on Martin:

Between 9 August and 12 August 1916 at (Mouquet Farm) Pozières, France, during four days of very heavy fighting, Private O'Meara repeatedly went out and brought in wounded officers and men from "No Man's Land" under intense artillery and machine-gun fire. He also volunteered and carried up ammunition and bombs through a heavy barrage to a portion of the trenches which was being heavily shelled at the time.

Stretcher-bearers worked to exhaustion, usually exposed to fire, carrying men to the aid posts close behind the front line. During this period O'Meara, then acting as a stretcher-bearer, behaved in a manner which led one officer to describe him as 'the most fearless and gallant soldier I have ever seen'.

O'Meara was wounded three times during the war and returned to Australia on 15 September 1918, having reached the rank of sergeant.The war took a terrible toll on his physical and mental wellbeing and he spent the remainder of his life in military hospitals.

For more on Martin see also


Radio Interview Radio Fremantle Songs For Ireland 107.9 FM Perth - July 19, 2013

Just finished a great chat with Frank Murphy on his show Songs For Ireland.

The show can be found online at Radio Fremantle 107.9 FM. every Saturday from 7 to 9 am (Perth time)-
Broadcast date of our chat is Saturday 20-7-13 and archived shows are available at their site
thanks for the opportunity to chat about the music Frank-its nice to chat about the history of songs and how they come to be-continued success with your show-

Roses from the Heart- RTE Nationwide September-Cobh Permanent Installation Update - June 10, 2013

Hi to all, apologies for not updating the news more frequently but the biggest news of recent times is that Christina Henri and her Roses from the Heart tribute to the Transported Convict Women are to be featured as part of a documentary currently being put together by the RTE Television show "Nationwide" .The documentary will cover the forced transportation of so many from these shores and will also feature the story of the ill fated Neva which has recently been covered extensively by irish authors/artists Kevin Todd and Cal McCarthy in their book The Wreck of the Neva-Kevin hails from my neck of the woods in Cork so congratulations on the book and the best of luck with it Kevin and I'm looking forward to seeing that section of the documentary.

I met with Christina and the Nationwide team in Cobh recently when filming was taking place and it was great to see Christina and catch up on progress-She was in the hands of the very affable and highly capable Niall Martin, Nationwide's producer and with Reg. on camera it was a very interesting few hours spent in Cobh-keep an eye out for the transmission of that documentary -it will be on in September-i'll post the exact date very soon-

I also met Cobh Heritage Centre's new manager Jack Walsh and he re-confirmed the Centre's intention to have a permanent tribute to the Convict Women in Cobh from later this year which is fantastic news-I was hoping following the departure earlier this year of former manageress Debbie Walsh that the interest would be maintained with the new manager's arrival-gladly this will be the case but may  I take this opportunity to thank Debbie Walsh for her superb support during the last few years whenever I called to chat re "Roses" and her interest in the last few years has played no small part in the project and installation going ahead. So look out for mention of the permanent tribute which I understand will be unveiled sometime around October 2013- 

Roses from the Heart -great news! - November 6, 2012

Well,a major dream has turned to reality with the news that Cobh Heritage Centre have confirmed that from next year,2013, there will be a PERMANENT tribute to the Convict Women in the Centre as part of the official tour that is offered to visitors.Christina Henri came to Cork in late October and we met with Debbie Walsh the wonderful manageress/curator at the Centre  and she confirmed they will be going ahead with the Tribute.

Its fantastic news and a great tribute to Christina's resilience and belief in what she is doing.It has to be said also that Debbie was a crucial part of this entire process and from my first visit with her back in 2010 she was a firm supporter of the whole idea and concept of Roses from the Heart so thank you Debbie.It was a personal honour to be at that meeting and to partake in the whole process.Christina and myself had discussed back in 2009 how great it would be to see a permanaent tribute there in Cobh and now it's to become a reality it's very exciting.I've no doubt Cobh Heritage Centre will do a fantastic tribute and to know it will be seen by future generations thus guaranteeing that the story of the Women will be told is a very special feeling.

Christina also got confirmation,thanks to the support and dedication of Elizabeth Kerins,the former Curator of the Gaol, that Cork Gaol will be doing a Single Bonnet Display as tribute and this is equally great news as both locations have so much in common with the story of the Transported women.So all in all it was a great week in Cork and it was my pleasure to be part of it.We also had a little time to take a trip to Kinsale and a couple of other spots while Christina was here with her friend Margaret McBride from Kilkeel.Margaret has made hundreds of bonnets and is a huge supporter and friend of Christina and Roses from the Heart. 




Podcast/Session at the Siopa in Dingle is now online - March 2, 2012

Just a quick note to say the Podcast/ Session myself and my great pal Mary Courtney did with the great Mazz O'Flaherty on New Yrs day is now uploaded on her website  -It's on her main page,right hand side, just click on the link and away you go... hearing it today brought back lovely memories of a brilliant afternoon spent with Mazz in her record shop in Dingle.

Mazz had thought we were going to do two separate interviews but time was against us a little and even though Mary and I had planned to do the session together poor Mazz was landed in it when we arrived and announced "shur we'll do it together as the one interview". Being always ready to roll and unflappable as she is, Mazz switched on the mic, kicked off and just let things happen as they happened and songs that hadnt been rehearsed or planned were sung and other stuff went by the wayside and thats how it should be-a live event ,a bit of fun and a few tunes and stories. Hope you enjoy it- We had a lovely couple of hours in great company-what more could you ask for... thank you and Bless you Mazz for a chance to connect with your listeners and for a session that was great fun and magic to do.

Session at the Siopa in Dingle ! - February 1, 2012

Well,my great pal Mary Courtney was home from New York for New Year and as we always meet every New Year we decided we'd love to do something new and very special for this New Year's day and so,armed with guitar and bodhran off we went to Dingle town accompanied by Mary's sister Debbie who is a great pal and musician too.We had been invited by the great Mazz O'Flaherty to do a podcast in her shop the Dingle Record Shop and no better day than the first of the year to do it.

Mazz runs a great shop there in Green St. in Dingle and for the last while she has been quietly recording sessions in the shop and putting them up on her website for all to hear-there are some great sessions up there for the listener-The sessions have received hundreds of thousands of hits and it's great to have a chat, play a few tunes and get the word out.Mazz is a gem and so easy to chat to-we had a magic afternoon in her company,sang a few songs ,did a couple of spoken word pieces and chatted away.We were saying afterwards what a perfect way to start the New Year,to be performing music ,singing in harmony and having a good chat and plenty of fun thrown in for good measure.Start as you mean to go on!

The session we did will be up there on the site in due course as there's a list of sessions to be edited and put up there before us but keep an eye out for it. In the meantime there are plenty of other sessions you can listen to now -Mazz's site is    

God bless you Mazz,you're a great woman and a true supporter of Irish music-go raibh mile maith agat...Dave 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS-HERE'S TO 2012 - December 27, 2011

A very Happy Christmas to everyone and here's to 2012 bringing good news-hold on tight -I've a feeling 2011 was just the warm up act  -stay safe and well throughout the year-the darkest hour is just before dawn.

slan, Dave

THE DAY IS COMING CLOSER - October 12, 2011

I've been following with huge interest the ever growing movement globally that is using the model of Tahrir Square in Cairo to peacefully protest the criminal inequality that exists in this world as a result of a handful of people (the 1 %) greedily exploiting the majority (the "99 %") through extremely dishonest and unethical business practices, particularly in the banking /mortgage areas.This relentless push for short term profit at any cost in major corporations,banks included, whether it be through outsourcing jobs in order to exploit cheap labour,through deregulation in banking, or through the relentless attempt to privatise everything from health to education has destroyed the world for most of its occupants and has turned everyday life for the majority into a constant struggle to just survive. Well, we didnt come here to just survive,we came here to develop and learn more about ourselves, the world and the universe we live in and we came here to make life a fascinating and hugely enjoyable experience,not a nightmare of unnecessary poverty, made for profit war and the daily struggle to keep a roof over our heads and food in our mouths.Add to that badly managed health services, unaffordable education and greedy politicians with their noses in the trough.What kind of world is that to pass on to the children coming after us.

People have had enough and a line has been crossed with the bailouts of huge corporations at the expense of ordinary taxpayers.The bailouts that have occurred globally ,but especially here in Ireland are not only immoral and unjust ,they are an imposition of a debt dictatorship where ordinary citizen's rights have been trampled on and their concerns brushed aside.  In the name of God when did we decide as a nation that Banks and Property Developers were more important than the Sovereign State or the people in it-that's just it,we DIDNT decide it...that decision was taken for us, in the middle of the night by a handful of terrified politicians, completely out of their depth, acting in the interests of the 1 % and not the 99%. And those that created the mess expect that we will now trust them to get us out of it? I dont think so.They had their chance.They blew it. They made their choice when they ran to help the 1 % and turned their backs on the 99. Their time is over. We will never be forgiven by future generations if we dont stop these financial predators and their corrupt enabling political servants in every country.

In an Irish context that fateful decision in Dublin in 2008 was totally undemocratic and cannot and should not stand.If these protests and the speed at which they are growing worldwide are any indication, then we are in for a winter of serious discontent. The protests will become the biggest public rejection of a deeply corrupt and bankrupt way of conducting the affairs of nation states and the deeply unethical and obscenely greedy attitude of "profit before everything else" will be met head on and defeated.By the 99 %. On behalf of the 99%.



There's something in the air...troubled times ......change is coming...   Dave



Hi everyone, just to let you know that my pal Aidan Dooley is back in Cork with his great new  play O'SULLIVAN BEARA-THE LAST GAELIC CHIEFTAIN-it plays in the Everyman from tonight 18th July to  Sat the 23rd.July-one week only as there are other dates in West Cork.

I was proud to contribute some dialogue and to do the music/sound effects for the play and it will be great to see it in this beautiful theatre. If you're near or in Cork come along and check it out.It's message of resilience and defiance is timely.

Dave 18-7-11


I thought I had posted on this already,apologies-The great Aidan Dooley is back in Ireland and doing a 6 week  tour of his new play "O'Sullivan Beara-The Last Gaelic Chieftain"-i'm delighted to have collaborated with Aidan on the play and have done the music /score for it.His performance is top notch as always.-

Dates are below:


Belltable Arts Centre-Limerick Fri 15th/Sat 16th April 061 319886

Mon 18th April- Simon Ryan Theatre,Tipperary  062 80250

Tues 19th April- Village Arts Centre-Kilworth Co.Cork  025 32227

Tues 26th April -St.John's Theatre Listowel 068 22566

Wed.27th April The Glen Theatre,Banteer Co.Cork 029 56239

Thurs 28th/Fri 29th April -Friar's Gate Theatre,Kilmallock  063 98727


Tues. 3rd and Wed 4th May-Castlecourt Hotel,Westport  098 26062

Thur.5th May- The Glens Theatre-Manorhamilton  071-9855833

Fri 6th and Sat 7th May- Balor Arts Centre-Ballybofey 074 9131840

Tues 10th-Sat 14th May- Town Hall Theatre Galway- 091 569777

Tues 17th and Wed 18th May- Garter Laner Arts Centre,Waterford 051 855038   




It's just over a year since I began this project and I'm delighted to say, having had great assistance,musically and engineering wise, from the brilliant Donncha Moynihan(thank you Donn) at the helm in his Rise Studio and with great musical contributions from top class artists, the album is finished. In addition to being a collection of songs about the people places and things that have inspired me these are among the best of my folk songs from nearly 20 years of writing.More than anything though it is a tribute to my late Dad,Alan.

I hope I 've done him proud with the recordings and I hope you all enjoy it as you get to hear it . 

The CD is on sale for 12 EU including P&P -you can obtain a copy by emailing me here at the site or at 

thank you,Dave -March 2011



The Sky Belongs to Dreamers - March 18, 2011

Hi all, i've just put together a small video clip for The Sky Belongs to Dreamers. I hope you enjoy it and that it pays proper tribute to an extraordinary man and to all those who gave their lives trying to save the lives of countless others. It seems so long ago now considering all that's happened since and very little of it good but hope springs...  it can be seen here...


Hi to all, when you visit the website a song will automatically start playing .The songs will be varied week to  week and if you want to stop a song playing, the player is at the very top of the page in that black strip you can see across the top of any page.You'll see the songtitle in the narrow strip at top of page.That is the player,the controls are to the left of the songtitle...that way if you choose to prefer to watch the video clip at bottom of the home page you wont be blasted with two songs at the same time ! god forbid !:)...

Album Master Arrived-plus youtube clip for Sky & Sea - March 13, 2011

Just listening now to the mastered CD which arrived yesterday .  I’m more than delighted with it-it sounds just fantastic, great mastering of the CD by Ruairi O’Flaherty.  I’m very excited to have the full and completed album as we began this over a year ago and it’s so fitting that it arrives now as we’ve  just marked a year since my Dad passed on and the album is a tribute to him.

 I’ll be sorting the sleeve this coming week and will include the lyrics to all the songs. The song you’re hearing on arriving to the website is a song called Sky and Sea. It’s on the album, the album is called  “ ALL OUR DAYS” .

This particular song along with another of mine called Roses from the Heart was chosen to be part of an amazing project put together by Tasmanian artist and great friend Christina Henri. You’ll have heard me mention it before on the site. The project is called Roses from the Heart and is a commemoration of/tribute to all of the Irish and English “convict” women transported to Australia over a 60 year period up until 1854 or so. For more see

More on the album as we get the sleeves sorted out.


-Dave 12/3/11 

P.S – the deepest condolences to all those caught up in the nightmare unfolding in Japan. Nature can be so cruel at times-prayers go out to the people of Japan, particularly in the worst hit areas.  

New CD being mastered - March 3, 2011

Hi to all who might be visiting the site,thank you for the emails and lovely comments. I'm in the process of putting together a few clips on windows moviemaker to co-incide with the new album being almost ready for the off.

they're very basic videos but they give an idea and feel of some of the songs to come and one  can be found on my youtube channel at present,a clip for The Day Has Yet to Come. The link for it is just below my  words on the opening page of the website.

I received a huge compliment from Christy Moore in relation to the singing of the song and it was an emotional thing to receive considering Christy in my mind is one the all time greats in irish folk along with Luke Kelly and Makem and Clancy.Thank you Christy, it put a spring in the step when it was needed!

The album is being mastered today in fact so I'm hoping to have it next week and once  its ready i'll get it up on to i-tunes and will have some physical cds made up too . I'll also post some of the songs up here so people can hear whats on the CD. I'm very proud of the album and will talk more about it when it arrives next week.

The album has 11 songs,its basically some of the best of my folk writing over the last 20 years or so and strangely it feels like the "debut" album. In the oddest way I feel like I've just served the apprenticeship as a writer and singer and can say this is a brand new beginning. Well,who said it was going to be easy or quick! ...:)..a slow burner !

OUT OF AFRICA - February 15, 2011

Like so many worldwide I’ve been glued to the unfolding events in Cairo and the Middle East.The revolutions that have taken place in Tunisia and Egypt have been extraordinary and show how powerful people are when they are united in their desire to bring real change to their lives instead of living in increasing desperation and frustration.

One look at the story and accompanying horrific and heartbreaking photos of KHALED SAID in Cairo or the story and pics of MOHAMED BOUAZIZI in Tunisia or the horrifying video clips of NEDA dying on the street in Tehran and you can fully understand the rage and the fire driving these revolutions.

Tahrir square in Cairo in particular was incredible to watch as it veered from peaceful demonstrations to the sight of pro democracy protestors fighting for their lives against vicious onslaughts organised by Murbarak and his thugs. Then to see these incredibly brave people gain victory over a 30 year old brutal tyrannical regime was just something to remember forever. They’ve a long road ahead but they will never allow that kind of repression or tyranny rule them again, a tyranny I might add, backed and supported financially and militarily by many western governments, utter hypocrites that they are.

Having seen the rise of Solidarity and the shipyard protests in Gdansk in what was then occupied Poland in the early 1980’s and then the revolutions of Eastern Europe in 1989 and early 90’s as the Berlin Wall came down these protests have a very similar feel but they are also different in that the Egyptian Revolution in particular seems like the beginning of something very new for the world.

This was virtually a leaderless revolution and was conducted peacefully and with the minimum of violence and could almost be called a graceful revolution and it’s not going to stop within the borders of Egypt. This has resonated deeply across the world particularly in the light of the recent economic turmoil and sense of despair felt by so many worldwide in terms of their economic future and in terms of people instinctively feeling they’ve been “had” by a small self- interested incredibly greedy, deeply corrupt collection of bankers and corporate parasites in collusion with equally inept and corrupt politicians.

The game is up and people are waking up and pushing hard against what they perceive to be a rotten system globally which has benefitted a tiny few at the expense of the majority of humanity. What’s so interesting to me personally is the speed and ease with which these so called immovable dictatorships and corrupt governments are being overthrown. It feels like they’re so corrupt they’ve rotted from the inside out and so it doesn’t take too much to pull them down and destroy them. For many decades, probably longer, a small handful of people have kept us dependent on fossil fuels for our energy despite there being alternative sources of energy, they have destroyed entire nations with their financial practices and flooded the world with weapons of every description, each weapon system more horrifying and disgusting than the last. Their days are numbered. I truly feel that 2011 will bring massive changes.

As they were and are saying in Tahrir Square and many other countries - KEFAYA: -ENOUGH!

UPDATE 4th October 2010 - October 4, 2010

Well,its the 4/10/10 and August has been really really busy.I'll sit down soon and give a proper and full description of the two events that took all of my time during August,namely Aidan Dooley's new play "O'Sullivan Beara-The Last Gaelic Chieftain" and Christina Henri's "Roses from the Heart" Project.

Both projects were really successful and were an absolute pleasure and honour to be associated and involved with.I'll post some pics of both events and give a more detailed description of what occurred.

For now,on the heels of the last couple of months appalling drip feed of what state the country's finances are truly in I'm posting a small clip of a video I put together with Windows Movie Maker.My blood boils when I see people who were elected and expected to look after our interests doing everything but that and how they've totally lined their own and their cronies' pockets at everyone else's expense.

I suspect the reckoning is far from over and the extent of the fallout has yet to be truly established or measured.This has become a matter of justice not merely setting records straight as to who did what.Suffice it to say nothing will ever be the same and trust in politicians and indeed in institutions that were supposed to work towards the benefit of the citizens of this country has been shattered and will remain so for many years to come.

We've survived worse and we will survive this too, not because of politicians' help but because we are an extraordinary and resilient people and we dont do surrender,not least to a handful of greedy pathetic creeps whose entire reason for living is to accumulate and to exploit those weaker or poorer.Their time will come.


Roses from the Heart-Prelim Press release - August 19, 2010

Roses from the Heart ™

Roses from the Heart™ is impacting on thousands of people, influencing them to travel and reconnect with family members on the other side of the world. Families living in Great Britain and Ireland are visiting Australia to travel in the footsteps of their convict ancestors. Australians are traveling back home to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to see the land from whence their ancestors came. In some cases families are meeting for the first time as people learn about relatives across the sea whose existence had previously been unknown. Participating in Roses from the Heart™ has facilitated this experience for a great many people.

Hundreds of Australians are visiting Tasmania to personally hand their bonnet tributes to Christina Henri and to visit Female Factory Sites and colonial homesteads where their female convict ancestors spent time.


Roses from the Heart™ is a unique memorial to the 25,566 convict women transported to Australia from Britain and Ireland from 1788 to 1853.

The concept of Christina Henri, an artist completing her PhD in Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Tasmania, the project involves the making of a bonnet, similar to that worn at the time, to commemorate the life and contribution each of the transported women made towards the founding of a new nation. Already 15,000 bonnets have been contributed from all parts of the world, many of these from descendants of the original transportees.

To learn more about this enduring, extraordinary memorial to Australia’s convict past visit Christina’s website ( for more information and details of how to obtain a bonnet pattern or make a purchase.

Christina's art is featured in the World Heritage Convict serial nomination (11 Sites) presented to UNESCO members in Paris. Christina Henri is the only artist featured and her work has been commended for attracting attention to the lesser known story of convict women. Her work has been shown on a number of the 11 nominated sites including, the Cascades Female Factory Site, Tasmania; Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmania; Fremantle Prison, Fremantle, WA; Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney, NSW and will be shown on Norfolk Island; Woolmer’s Estate, Tasmania and at Old Government House, Parramatta, New South Wales in 2010.
(See Australian Convict World Heritage Nominations - pps 151/152)

Bringing the Spirit of the Convict Women Home …..

On 28 August 2010 Christina, in response to an invitation by Elizabeth Kearns, Manager of the Cork City Gaol, Heritage Centre, will ‘take some of the girls (the bonnets symbolise the convict lasses) back home’ to present their unique stories in words and music. This event will especially commemorate the 194 Irish convict women who, in 1828, were condemned to transportation in the prison ship Elizabeth, for often trifling crimes committed in their native land.

Irish convict woman Mary Walsh will also be remembered. Mary, a resident of Clonmel, was sentenced, to seven years in the harsh penal colony of Van Diemen’s Land for allegedly stealing cloth from a local shop. She arrived at Hobart Town in April 1842, accompanied by her one year old daughter. In 1843 her husband James addressed one of the most moving love letters to his wife on the other side of the world. This letter, now in the keeping of the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, forms the basis of an intriguing mystery surrounding both Mary and her family back in Ireland.

Mary’s tale has been encapsulated by the composer of the Fields of Athenry, Pete St John, in a new tribute song The Bells of Ireland. Cork musician, Dave McGilton, likewise moved by Mary’s plight, has also written an especially poignant song, Sky and Sea which looks at the transportation story from the point of view of those left behind. Fred Rea has also penned a song performed by local Perth duo Fiona Rea and Latiesha Boucher), titled Christina Take Me Home.

On Friday 27th August, a concert will be held at the West Cork Hotel as part of the Skibbereen Heritage Week. Fiona Rea, Latiesha Boucher, Fred Rea, Maria Forde from Australia along with local singer Dave McGilton and Sean Roche. Local members of Comhaltas and a local choir will also take part.

Christina Take me Home will be performed in the Cork Gaol on Saturday 28th August. Also performing, Dave McGilton and Western Australian Corkonian musician and songwriter Fred Rea, who is also owner/editor of The Irish Scene which he produces for the Irish community in Australia. The whole event will be narrated by Christina Henri.

At the Cobh Heritage Centre on Sunday 29th August, a concert will be held. This concert will be narrated by Christina Henri and will again have the above mentioned artists performing plus Maria Forde and Sean Roche. At the time of transportation to Australia, Cobh was known as Queenstown and was the port where many of the Irish Convict women embarked from in the 1800’s. There will be a blessing of the Bonnets at 12 Noon

On 4 September ‘Bringing the Spirit of the Convict Women Back Home’ will be staged in Dublin organised by Pete St John and a ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ ceremony will be held at an Inchicore.

The following weekend, 11/12 September, a ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ ceremony and ‘Bringing the Spirit Back Home’ show will be presented in the picturesque fishing village of Kilkeel in Northern Ireland as a mark of respect to the many convict women transported from County Down. Additional performances and bonnet ceremonies may be staged.

See attached for other events.

To support these presentations, a CD featuring all the musicians and again narrated by Christina Henri, is being produced and will be available for sale at each event.

Christina has also been invited to have an exhibition of 13,000 bonnets at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham, England on the 19-22 August, 2010. This Festival sees over 40,000 people visit and Roses from the Heart™ is a main draw card for the Festival as interest in connecting with the convict story and making a bonnet tribute is spreading rapidly throughout the Country.

See: Additional Features.pdf

Following Christina Henri’s Irish tour she has been invited to hold both a ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ and an exhibition of bonnets in Jersey, the Channel Islands England on September 19, 2010.

Christina Henri
Roses from the Heart

O'Sullivan Beara-The Last Gaelic Chieftain ! - July 24, 2010

Earlier this year I had a meeting here in Cork with Aidan Dooley,the writer and actor whose brilliant play Tom Crean Antarctic Explorer has been so well received and celebrated in the past few years.We had first met in Gougane Barra in 2008 and collaborated a little on that play in that the chorus of one of my songs is used in the play.Shortly after that Aidan mentioned he was researching background for a new play on O'Sullivan Beara,one of our long lost heroes in Irish history.

Aidan confirmed during the meeting in January he was going ahead with the new play.It was to be called "O'Sullivan Beara -the Last Gaelic Chieftain" and he asked if I would do the music for it.It was a great honour to be asked and a great challenge to work on the sounds/music for the play.

The months have flown by and here we are ,on the eve of it's debut in Theatre by The Lake in Gougane Barra.It has been a very exciting and interesting process,watching and being part of the play as it has developed and equally interesting for me to write/create the music/links to match the moods.I hope I've done the work justice and I'm hugely looking forward to seeing it performed before a live audience.I've seen first hand how much blood sweat and tears go into the writing and rehearsing of a one man show such as this and I've an even greater respect and appreciation for the process now and for Aidan in his undertaking of such a challenge.

It's a riveting,powerful and poignant story and Aidan has a very strong piece of theatre in his hands once again.On a personal note its a HUGE pleasure to be part of it. See you in Gougane Barra ! Munster abu.

Hi to All - June 23, 2010

Hi to anyone who has come here over the last few months and was looking for news/updates.My apologies for not keeping the site up to date,I've been so busy with family events and commitments I havn't had a chance to visit and update.I'll be updating music and news in the next couple of weeks.Thanks for visiting and stay safe and well.

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