4……13……79……200…… – BRIEF REPORT AND A FEW PICS RE THE 79’r BALLAD SESSION…
4 – the number of members in the group , ‘The Beer Mats’ ; Colm, Brian, Tony and Francis . Thanks , lads – ye were fantastic !
13 – the number of prizes on offer – and won – in the raffle on the night , including two Republican bodhráns , four Republican mirrors, three woodburn Republican prints , a framed 1916 Proclamation and a framed Irish National Anthem. A lot of prizes , sure enough , but not near enough for everyone in the audience! Also , as stated on the night, most of the prizes were made by Republican POW’s in Maghaberry and Portlaoise Prisons.
79 – the name of the pub where the event was held. The staff and management extended every courtesy to us , and were a great help to the RSF organising committee on the night , and in the days before the event was held. They played a major part in ensuring that the night went without a hitch!
200 – the number of tickets sold for the event and , it seems, the actual amount of people that attended! It was standing room only , so much so that extra chairs and high stools had to be carried up , on more than one occasion, to the function room from the bar and lounge areas downstairs. At one stage the organisers were talking about having to close the doors , and refund people in the queue their money back although , thankfully , it never actually got to that point, but it came very close to it!
The RSF organisers thanked the pub staff and owners , the audience and the group , for the great night that all three combined to make happen. An RSF representative also mentioned that the Beer Mats will , as usual, be making an appearance at the annual ‘Hope And Remembrance’ Mass , to be held this year on Tuesday 20th October in Fettercairn Community Centre in Tallaght at which, amongst other things, those who died from the misuse of drugs will be remembered. Also mentioned was the proposed loss of over 6,500 jobs in the Community Sector and this protest march against same but the biggest cheer – a standing ovation – was received when the speaker talked about “…the biggest scourge and disease in Ireland :the continuing British military and political presence in six of our counties which will never be accepted by Republican Sinn Féin…”
Finally – special thanks to Phyllis and Angela Nolan , who flew in specially (!) from Australia for the gig , to Bernadette and her fella , to Matt , Mags , Liam , Robbie , Andy , Barney , Frankie , Des from Limerick , Dan from Crumlin – and apologises to those who I don’t mention. The damn cider was very tasty and distracted me…