Naas man features in tales of Ireland's Ballrooms of Romance

Books: Naas man's memories featured in new collection of showband stories

Jenny Dillon

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Jenny Dillon

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Naas man features in tales of Ireland's Ballrooms of Romance

'From the Candystore to the Galtymore'

Country music fans will be pleased to hear about a book called From the Candy Store to the Galtymore that was launched last week, writes Jenny Dillon.

The book features a Naas native, Brendan Mulhern. It recalls the showband era and contains a number of stories from the 1950s and 1970s in urban and rural Ireland, focusing on the young men and women who attended their local Ballroom of Romance each week.

Co-editors PJ Cunningham and Dr Joe Kearney travelled all around the country over the past year, to bring all of Ireland’s showband stories together into one book.

Naas man Brendan Mulhern recounts the time he played in a midlands band who were trying to make it big. He succeeded, but only in Cadamstown, according to his account of the events.

Queen of Country Margo O’Donnell describes how she met a man before a show in London and became great friends with him as he battled against his drinking problem before his death. It’s a story full of emotion, evoking sadness but also pride in how he managed to turn his life around, dying a proud man.

Altogether, there are over 70 contributions included in this social and cultural review. The sources mainly include ordinary people, with some interesting insights from Irish singers, musicians and band managers. The book is published by the Ballpoint Press (€14.99).