Uncovering History at the Cobblestone Pub

Last week’s impromptu visit by (Fulbright student) Amanda Bernhard and her husband Jonathan Kennedy was a most welcome excuse to visit the Cobblestone!

Jonathan Kennedy playing uilleann pipes with an Irish man he has played pipes with the States.

Jonathan Kennedy playing uilleann pipes with an Irish man he has played pipes with the United States.

A casteen player with Tom Mulligan.

A casteen player with Tom Mulligan. Tom’s doing his best to keep Irish traditions alive and thriving here in Dublin.

My friends arrived late in the evening Thursday after a day of Irish classes followed by a cross-country drive.

They took me out for dinner at L. Mulligan. Grocer then we popped back to my apartment to fetch their instruments and retraced our steps one block to Tom Mulligan’s Cobblestone pub.

The last two times Jonathan and Amanda went to the Cobblestone I wasn’t with them (they were staying at my apartment while I was away). They went on weekends and the musicians’ corner was already full. They didn’t play then, although they did introduce themselves to Tom.

Last Thursday, however, they found space to play alongside the Irish musicians. We had a great time and enjoyed meeting new people, seeing Tom, and catching up on recent events.

After talking with Tom, I finally understand how Fergus Whelan came to have close friends on both sides of the “Troubles.” He is/was both Protestant and Republican (though today he’s a peacemaker as per my earlier blog). Protestants are typically associated with the other side — usually sticking with the Queen, so to speak — while Fergus apparently supported the unification of Ireland and Irish rule for the entire island. See how much like the American Civil War it all was? As a Virginian, I too had family on both sides of a bitter conflict. And some tensions run high on that conflict even today….

Ful-brighting at the Cobblestone Pub

I’m posting a few photos my husband Dave Chance took the night Amanda Bernhard and her husband Jonathan Kennedy played at the Cobblestone Pub. We’d met them at the Fulbright Orientation weekend, and invited them to stay over at our place so they’d have the chance to visit the Pub.

Both Jonathan and Amanda play uilleann pipes. Amanda also plays fiddle.

Amanda is the Irish language Fulbright to Ireland this year. They are both studying Irish–at the Master’s degree level–at the a university in Galway. Amanda has been blogging about their adventures. You might want to visit her site to learn about on the other coast of Ireland, where many people still speak Irish day to day.

Jonathan is shown here playing uilleann pipes. Amanda plays the uilleann pipes as well as the fiddle. (Copyright Dave Chance Photography, 2012.)

Amanda Bernhard playing fiddle at the Cobblestone Pub. (Copyright Dave Chance Photography, 2012.)

Amanda Bernhard and Jonathan Kennedy playing at the Cobblestone in September 2012. (Copyright Dave Chance Photography, 2012.)