A COUNTY Limerick maths teacher is proving he has more than a flair for figures - he is also making his mark in the songwriting world.
Larry Joy a native of Emly, who teaches Maths and English at John the Baptist secondary school in Hospital recently performed in a unique concert in the National Library of Ireland and he is also the current holder of the Garry McMahon Award, a national award for newly-composed ballads. â€œI was asked if I would be interested in taking part in an Arts Council programme. There was a concert in Dublin in the National Library on May 30 and we were asked to compose a new song in the traditional genre on a theme of travelling and emigration,â€ Larry explained.
A number of traditional singers from all over Ireland were invited to be part of the â€˜As I Roved Outâ€™ project. Larryâ€™s song Ship of Dreams is based on the true story of Tom Oâ€™Brien of Bonavie, Pallasgreen and Hannah Godfrey of Doon West who travelled together on the Titanic as man and wife, but were in fact eloping to begin a new life together in America. A pregnant Hannah survived the disaster, but Tom Oâ€™ Brien was lost on that fateful night. â€œIt was a lovely story and I wrote the song about that. We are working towards a CD of that concert. All the performers were asked to record,â€ continued Larry.
His compositions have already won acclaim at local and national level and he is the current holder of the Garry McMahon Award, a national award for newly-composed ballads. Larry won the award for his song â€˜The Hunt upon the Hillâ€™. Larry will next perform in the upcoming Variety Show presented by Emly Community Council on Sunday, July 15 at 8pm in Halla Naomh Ailbe, Emly.