Ireland has a new set of world champions.
They are the weary but elated men, women and children who smashed the record for the Longest Traditional Music Session ever.
The event began last weekend when dozens of musicians gathered at O’Hanlons pub at Mullaghbawn in Armagh for a musical marathon.
The wanted to break the world record of 27 hours which had been set at Ennis in County Clare. They were hoping to set a new record by playing for 30 hours.
Well, they did that all right and then they played on to see how far they could go. In the end, they played on for an amazing 42 hours.
By then they had sang and played their way through hundreds of songs, jigs, reels and just about everything else you can mention.
The event was organised by Evelyn Campbell in memory of her father John Norton who was a popular singer in the Armagh area and throughout Ireland. He died last year at St John’s Hospice in Newry.
The marathon challenge was to raise money for the hospice and other charities.
It attracted performers from all over Ireland creating a great sense of community and togetherness. Evelyn takes up the story.
“We had performers aged from 4 to 84 contributing, and people from a huge number of counties including the owner of my Dads favourite place “Pat Cohans” Quiet Man Pub in Cong, Co Mayo.
“We had Seamus Tansey, Ireland’s famous flutist from Sligo and our very own Josephine Keegan who released a marvellous CD of wonderful tunes.
“People from Canada, Lithuania, USA, England, Scotland and Hungary also came… and with anything up to six sessions going on in various corners and rooms there was plenty of variety!”
Anyone still wanting to contribute may still do so by contacting either Evelyn or Bernard O’Hanlon on 02830888961 or 02830888284.
O’Hanlons in now organising another “Session” as a presentation night to the charity groups – and Evelyn has promised that it won’t last 42 hours!