Leader of the Band

One of Glen McClure’s beautiful images from last St. Patrick’s Day’s Achill Island parade.

Our mission today: to find someone who knew the drummer girl Glen had photographed in Achill Island last March.  There’s a large print of the girl hanging in the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center (formerly the Courthouse Gallery) right now.

Despite the rain that rolled in just after breakfast and stayed all day, we headed to the island of the west coast in our little rental car.  Dave did a respectable job of remembering to drive to the left.  One must always be patient driving in Ireland, though, as sheep maintain the right-of-way.

Arriving on Achill, we stopped at the Western Light Art Gallery and asked Sean Cannon and his wife for advice.  They knew exactly who the girl was.  We left the photo of her there, for Mr. and Mrs. Cannon to give her.  The couple had provided directions to a pub the whole marching band (pictured above) frequents.  It is famous for being the western-most pub in Ireland.

We headed there, stopping along the way for a photo or two.  Upon arriving at Gielty’s Bar and Restaurant, a friendly fellow greeted us immediately.  And he was, of course, exactly the person we were looking to find… Michael Gielty.

Michael and his niece were happy to see the images.  They actually had a framed drawing on the wall, made in 1985, that depicted almost the very same scene that Glen captured in 2012.

We celebrated our find with two man-sized Smithwicks and a lady Guinness.

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