One of the highlights at the start of the recent RTÉ Big Music Week to encourage live music was the parade in Newbridge. It made its way from the train station to the Main Street and then over the bridge across the River Liffey to Patrician Secondary School for an hour-long concert in the school hall. The parade was led in style by the Army No.1 Band from Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin. Tomorrow night (Saturday 12th October) they will be performing at the National Concert Hall in Dublin in the annual defence forces benefit concert and the tickets are sold out so there will be a full house. Celine Byrne from Caragh in County Kildare who was also in Newbridge for the RTÉ Music week is the guest soprano.
Christy Moore returned to his native county of Kildare to take part in the RTÉ Big Music week at Patrician Secondary school in Newbridge, where he was a pupil many years ago. When I looked around the packed school hall, I suddenly noticed him behind me sitting in the audience and moving with the music as Luka Bloom sang. Only afterwards did I realise that Luka Bloom is the stage name for Kevin Barry Moore, Christy’s younger brother from Prosperous.
What a fantastic reception in Newbridge for RTÉ’s Big Music Week. Alighting from the train, the musicians, presenters and guests were greeted by the colourful ‘Birds of Paradise’. Town Mayor Councillor Mick Deely was on the platform, waiting to whisk Miriam O’Callaghan away in a horse-drawn carriage.
Hundreds of schoolchildren and supporters lined the station car park and poured out onto the streets to cheer the musicians. One banner read ‘Thank you for the music’. The Kill Singers from County Kildare serenaded the arrivals with “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, which had also been performed on board in style by the Bugle Babes.
Numerous local bands including the Scoil na Naomh Uilig band played as the musicians and singers lined up for a parade into town headed by the Army No.1 Band from Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin. On Saturday they will be appearing at the National Concert Hall in Dublin at the Defence Forces Benefit Concert, which is sold out. Soprano Celine Byrne who was also in Newbridge will be making a guest appearance. I notice she is also coming to the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on October 17th to sing alongside José Carreras in the opening night of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s.
“What a way to arrive into my hometown of Newbridge,” singer Luka Bloom told the Leinster Leader. He was joined on the platform by fellow musician and friend Philip King. “What a thrill. I was at Connolly Station at 8am this morning [Monday 1st October] and what a way to spend a Monday. There was a lot of singing on the train”.
At the Patrician Secondary School, Luka Bloom’s brother Christy Moore was waiting at his alma mater. Luka sang a song he had written for his good friends the Brigidine Sisters in Kildare Town called ‘Don’t be afraid of the light within you’.
RTÉ’s Big Music Week was run in association with Iarnród Éireann, which provided a three carriage ICR train for the musicians and their guests. The 22000 Class “InterCity Railcar” is a diesel multiple unit usually used on commuter routes such as Kildare, Portlaoise and Longford to Dublin and on Irish Rail’s intercity routes except Dublin to Belfast (served by the Enterprise) and peak-time journeys from Dublin to Cork. There are 48 of them and they can seat 190 passengers. They are capable of speeds up to 160 km/h (100 mph).
The sets were supplied by Mitsui of Japan in an order totalling approximately €400 million. The fleet was built by a partnership between Hyundai Rotem of South Korea and Tokyu Car Corporation of Japan, who supplied the bogies. The first sets were delivered in March 2007. Two of the 3-car sets, 22010 and 22011, which arrived in July 2007, suffered corrosion damage in transit from South Korea. They were returned to Rotem for repair in October 2008, with a revised delivery date. It was later determined that it was uneconomic to repair them and two replacement units with the same numbers were provided at no cost to Iarnród Éireann.
The ICRs are divided into three car sets and six car sets, and have two internal configurations. The first 30 units are all three cars, and are all intended for use on Intercity routes, as are ten of the 15 six car units. The remaining five 6-car sets, plus the 17 three car sets ordered in 2008 are configured for long-range commuter services to and from Dublin. Combinations of two 3-car sets, three 3-car sets, two 6-car sets and a 3-car set + a 6-car set are possible. In case of emergency, they can operate in formations of up to 18 cars.
- Engine: MTU 6H 1800 R83, 12.8 L, 6 cylinder, 483 bhp gross, 386 bhp (288 kW) traction per car.
- Transmission: Voith T 312 R
- Top speed: 160 km/h (approx. 100 mph)
- Body: high quality stainless steel with some corrosion-resistant carbon steel components
- Automatic PA and information display systems (Supplier: SA Viewcom)
- Fully air-conditioned (Supplier: Toshiba)
- Saloon, external view of doors and front-facing CCTV camera and recording system (Supplier: Verint)
- Catering facilities
- Individual base seating
- Fire safety to BS 6853 Cat 1B, automatic fire extinguishing system for engines & fuel tanks
- All sets feature Irish standard CAWS signalling systems and train radio.
- The first six 3-car sets fitted with Train Protection and Warning System for operation on Northern Ireland Railways.
- Length: 3-car set, 70 m
- Width: 2.84 m
- Height: 4 m
- Weight: 63 tonne, each car
Michael Fisher travelled from Connolly Station to Carlow as a guest on the RTÉ Music train and returned courtesy of Iarnród Éireann
Another busy day for the RTÉ Big Music promotion in association with Iarnród Eireann. Here is today’s schedule of broadcasts on radio and television: remember to watch the Late Late Show tonight with Ryan Tubridy as the train arrives back at Connolly station in Dublin.
|07:00||RTÉ 2fm||Breakfast with Hector||Join Hector and friends for a great show live from the train in Boyle station, Co Roscommon||Various|
|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|
|12:00||RTÉ Radio 1||The Ronan Collins Show||Ronan broadcasts live from Maynooth, capturing beautiful performances from The Maynooth University Chamber Orchestra with Eimear Quinn, The Lost Brothers, Heathers, Gavin James and more||The Maynooth University Chamber Orchestra with Eimear Quinn, The Lost Brothers, Heathers, Gavin James and more|
|Nightly||RTÉ One||RTÉ Big Music Week update||A very special update of all the day’s action from RTÉ Big Music Week|
|21:35||RTÉ One||The Late Late Show||As the RTÉ Big Music Week Train pulls back in to Connolly Station following an epic week, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the RTÉ Big Music Week House Band gather in studio for a one-off live performance of Irish song-writer Brendan Graham’s RTÉ Big Music Week song. Featuring some of Ireland’s biggest and best vocalists and musicians.||The RTÉ Concert Orchestra & the RTÉ Big Music Week Train House Band with some of Ireland’s best vocalists and musical contributions collected throughout the week.|
|22:00||RTÉ Radio 1||The God Slot||Eileen Dunne meets experts in liturgical music for Roman Catholic, Anglican and Jewish faiths, who discuss the origins of music in their various traditions|
Anne Cassin climbs aboard the RTÉ music train from Dublin to Newbridge and Carlow and looks back at the history of Six One as it celebrates 25 years of broadcasting. Watch the programme here on the RTÉ Player. Broadcast on Wednesday October 2nd, 2013. You will see a brief picture of me listening to the music at Patrician Secondary School in Newbridge at 6:20 into the programme.
Today was Day Three of the RTÉ Big Music Week. The train travelled from Limerick via Galway to Westport in County Mayo. Tonight there was a concert in Matt Molloy’s pub, featuring Sharon Shannon, Mundy, Frankie Gavin & The Ríl De Danann, Julie Feeney, Máirtín O Connor, We Banjo 3, Matt Molloy & local musicians, Laoise Kelly and more.
This was day two of the RTÉ Big Music Week designed to promote live music. It began yesterday at Bray station in County Wicklow with performances for early morning commuters by a host of starts including The Benzini Brothers featuring Liam Ó MaonlaÍ, Fiachna Ó Braonáin & Peter O’Toole, Luan Parle, Lisa O’Neill, The Lost Brothers & Eleanor McEvoy. The special three carriage RTÉ Music Train then made its way to Dublin’s Connolly Station where I was able to join the event. I met the RTÉ Director General Noel Curran and managed to get his picture as the Artane Band prepared to broadcast live at the end of the John Murray Show with Miriam O’Callaghan.
The Artane Band played In Dublin’s Fair City or of you prefer Molly Malone or event Cockles and Mussels to bring the programme to a lively end. Earlier Miria had introduced various top acts including Paul Brady, Luka Bloom, Kodaline, Damien Dempsey, The Bugle Babes and Bronagh Gallagher. All this was a great example of public service broadcasting at its best.
I met several former RTÉ colleagues along the way including Nationwide presenter Anne Cassin. She was working on a package for tomorrow’s programme (Wednesday) on RTÉ at 7pm viewable here. You can see me listening to the music in the hall at 6:20. When I was talking to her she was in Newbridge where former Planxty member Christy Moore performed at his alma mater, Patrician Boys’ Secondary School. Christy had developed his passion for singing as a pupil in 1958 and he was taught to play the piano by Sr Michael.