It was a beautiful morning for a journey and no better way to travel than by train. A great opportunity to see the sunrise over the sea as the train passed along the coast just after Gormanston in County Meath. My thirteen hour odyssey began at Newry station in County Armagh (it’s closer to Bessbrook!) with the departure of the 06:45 Iarnród Eireann commuter train to Dublin Connolly, a train that goes as far as Bray. Try planning a journey to Dundalk on the Translink website and you won’t find this particular service. It picks up at various stops as far as Donabate, by which time it’s a case of standing room only, then runs non-stop to Connolly. On arrival the place was buzzing with the sound of music, including the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
A great start to the Big Music Week at Connolly Station with an hour long John Murray Show presented by Miriam O’Callaghan. Among the crowd (some of whom had joined the music train at Bray) was RTÉ’s Director General Noel Curran. Although he comes from a county (Monaghan) where the railway lines were dismantled over fifty years ago, he still has a love of trains having made the journey many times between Dublin and Dundalk, where I was writing this as I headed back to Newry on the Enterprise.
The hour-long show at Connolly finished with the Artane Boys Band. The BIG MUSIC WEEK entourage then boarded the special three-carriage Iarnród Éireann train to Newbridge for the next stage of the proceedings.
On board we were entertained by the Chattanooga Choo Choo from the Bugle Babes. Other stars travelling included the Northern duo of Paul Brady from Strabane and Bronagh Gallagher from Derry, who made a special mention of Eamonn McCann when she sang Midnight Train to Georgia for Miriam, a broadcast that went out simultaneously on 2FM and Lyric FM.
Christy Moore joined the fun at the Patrician Seconday School at Newbridge in County Kildare. After a three hour stop that included a parade along the mmain street of the town led by the Army No.1 Band, it was time to head for the next stop in Carlow. More performances on the train and then in the station car park where Tullow native Selina O’ Leary was among the entertainers. After that the Music Train headed to Waterford for a concert at the Theatre Royal, a benefit gig in aid of Barnardos for whom collections were made along the way. The broadcast schedule for tomorrow, Tuesday 1st October, and other information can be found on the RTÉ Big Music Week (in association with Iarnród Eireann) website here.
|9:30, 12:35 & 16:10||RTÉjr||The Beo Show||This Big Music Week join stage manager Donie and wardrobe lady Gerty Gúna as they prepare the Beo Theatre for children from across the country||Various|
|10:00 & 14:35||RTÉjr||Hubble||Hubble is going musical so watch and listen as Emma and Ogié discover a musical world full of fun and interesting sounds.||Various|
|16:00||RTÉ Two||elev8||Follow Diana Bunici’s progress as she picks up the guitar for the first time with the promise of a performance by the end of the week.||Various|
|17:30||RTÉ Two||Two Tube||Throughout RTÉ Big Music Week Two Tube will be on a quest to find the next big music act, as well as bringing great interviews from well-known Irish talent.||Various|
|20:00||RTÉ Radio 1||The John Creedon Show||For day two of RTÉ Big Music Week, John Creedon presents a live performance from Killarney’s INEC, featuring John Spillane, Ger Wolfe, Lumiere, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, I Draw Slow & others.||John Spillane, Lumiere, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, I Draw Slow & others.|