Solstice the inspiration as music group finds a voice


The winter solstice has inspired the world's best tin-whistle player. At least that's how the Wall Street Journal has described Mary Bergin. The Dubliner who now lives in Spiddal wrote a solstice song for the latest album by Dordan, the Galwegian traditional and baroque quartet.

Formed seven years ago after a concert in Galway's St Nicholas Cathedral, the group began as an instrumental trio.

But they wanted to perform vocals, and found their voice in Martina Goggin, a Limerick woman living in the Connemara Gaeltacht who worked as publicist and promotions manager with De Danann.

Kathleen Loughnane, master harper from Co Tipperary, and Dearbhaill Standun, a Spiddal native, make up the band which took its name from the musical hum of the bumblebee.

They are not just a group but a family network: they have nine children between them, aged between nine and 19 years. Most of this latest album was recorded during 1996, and the group has since been signed by the US Narada label.

They return from an Austrian tour this week for a last quick promotion of The Night Before . . . A Celtic Christmas

And they are back just in time for the Spiddal Craft Centre Christmas Fair, which finishes tomorrow in the craft centre with demonstrations in pottery, weaving, stone sculpture and wood-turning. There is an added attraction, according to Martina Goggin, who is closely associated with the artists in the fair. Free tea, coffee and hot mince pies are available for customers buying items worth £20 and over.

A footnote relating to last week's Out of the West in which reference was made to a jail sentence served by Eddie McDonagh of Hillside travellers' halting site. The sentence was served in November and related to his refusal to move to Carrowbrowne last summer rather than last month, as stated.