I was at a reception on Saturday night hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Andrew Montague in The Mansion House for the Tyrone Association Dublin. The Lord Mayor has a very strong Tyrone connection his father is from Carrickmore. My friend Ronan McSherry was being honoured for being CIPR Columnist of the Year for his work in the Tyrone Herald. Ronan also published his first book this year “Ronan’s Rants” which is a collection of his column. We had a great night with the Mayor giving us a rendition of the Van Morrison classic “Brown Eyed Girl” He also showed me his mayoral chain. The Lord Mayor of Dublin’s gold chain of office was presented by King William III ( yes King Billy himself!) to the City of Dublin in 1698. The chain is composed of decorative links including a portrait of Billy the Tudor rose, a harp, a trefoil shaped knot and the letter S (thought to stand for Steward.
At the reception I met two men I hadn’t seen nearly 35 years. Peter Farrell from Ballygawley who played a couple of times along with his brother in our band “An Buachaillí” and Peter Smith (Peadar Mac Gabhann) Peadar now lectures in Irish at the University of Ulster and is a fine Sean Nós singer and is an expert in all aspects of Gaelic Culture. I remember him as a 15 year old competing in the Fleadhanna in the mid 70’s. It was fantastic to catch up with these fine musicians.