African drums and remembering Jimmy

The Mayor of Limavady Councillor Gerry Mullan this week joined with members of Jimmy O'Haras family at the launch night of the Limavady Folk Festival to unveil a picture in tribute to the former musician, family man and friend, included at the unveiling are Jimmys wife Goretti, family members Joseph, James, Eoin, Michael, Ann, Anthony, Annie Lawrence and Anne, George Murphy and Eamon Devlin are also included. DER4213SL201

The Mayor of Limavady Councillor Gerry Mullan this week joined with members of Jimmy O'Haras family at the launch night of the Limavady Folk Festival to unveil a picture in tribute to the former musician, family man and friend, included at the unveiling are Jimmys wife Goretti, family members Joseph, James, Eoin, Michael, Ann, Anthony, Annie Lawrence and Anne, George Murphy and Eamon Devlin are also included. DER4213SL201

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It’s not everyday I’d listen to African drum music but, that’s exactly what I did last week when the husband and wife team ‘Releasing Rhythms’ came to the Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre in Limavady.

Professional musicians, they had spent the previous day training and upskilling pupils from ‘Rossmar’ Special School and ‘Benbradagh Resource Centre’ in the art of playing traditional authentic African drums, the result of which was absolutely amazing to watch.

The students performed with ease and perfect timing in front of teachers, family, friends and invited guests. The whole audience was cheering and clapping in appreciation.

A slightly more serene event took place at ‘Ballymaclarey House’ in Magilligan the following day.

Tea and tiny farm-house scones bedecked with strawberry, jam and fresh cream prepared us well for the official launch of the plans for an intended upgrade of facilities at the entrance to Benone beach.

This project involving Limavady Borough Council, will see the creation of a new activity centre with car parking facilities in place by 2015 which should greatly improve the whole visitor experience for the thousands of tourists who flock there each year.

A host of other very interesting events took place over the last week or so, and it’s always pleasing to see the look of satisfaction, even relief at times, on the faces of those people receiving their certificates on completion of a particular task or exam.

There was also, of course, the shedding of a certain local politician’s much-loved pony tail at ‘Drumceatt Square’ which caused quite a stir last Saturday morning. All for a very good cause, however, with ‘Marie Curie’ standing to gain quite handsomely from it!

I must say the guy who lost the locks, who shall remain anonymous of course, looks very handsome as well.

The launch of the ‘Roe Valley Folk Festival’ opened with the poignant unveiling of a picture in memory of the late Jimmy O’Hara - a well known and much respected traditional musician from Glack - at The Alexander Arms Hotel in the town.

It was great to be there with the family and friends of this local legend, and share in the emotionally charged tribute to him.

Jimmy, an exceptionally gifted musician inspired everyone he met. He oozed humility and wit.

Jimmy’s memory will, undoubtedly, continue to inspire and influence many many people for years to come. Jimmy O’Hara, Rest in Peace.