Limerick songwriter hits the right notes

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

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.

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. “I 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,” Larry explained.

A number of traditional singers from all over Ireland were invited to be part of the ‘As I Roved Out’ project. Larry’s song Ship of Dreams is based on the true story of Tom O’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 O’ Brien was lost on that fateful night. “It 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,” 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 ‘The Hunt upon the Hill’. 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.