Mudcat Café message #3941927 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164625   Message #3941927
Posted By: Jim Carroll
06-Aug-18 - 03:45 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Tommy Peoples-Donegal fiddler(1948-2018)
Subject: RE: Obit: Tommy Peoples-Donegal fiddler(1948-2018)
We were present at an early Willie Clancy Summer School when Tommy and Paddy Keenan first got together - it was shortly before the Bothy Band was formed.
We arrived on the Friday night and were told in hushed terms by several people "Keenan's in town"
We'd never heard of him - when we went into Friels he and several other musicians were sitting around a big table in the family kitchen, behind the bar
Paddy was a little worse for wear - he played superbly, fell asleep, would be woken up and would play brilliantly again.....
Tommy was sitting next to him and it was obvious the two were friends and admirers of each other's music

The week has gone down in musical legend in Clare
On Wednesday the two 'borrowed' a nun's bike and rode up and down the main street until someone called the Guards and Keenan was arrested and taken to the Barracks
After the late session that night, we were invited back to where Tom Munnelly and his family were staying, for a session -
Tommy Peoples was one of the company and as the night/morning progressed he became a little agitated at the absence of his friend and stood up saying, "I'm going to get him out - I know what goes on in those places" (he was an ex-Guard) - he was dissuaded from leaving.
A little later there was a knock at the front door - it turned out to be the local Guard who said, "would you take him (Keenan) back, we're closing" (Paddy was staying with the Munnellys)

One evening both of them turned up at a very crowded Friels after closing time and headed straight for the family bathroom, just off the kitchen (it served as a ladies toilet in those days - the men had to use the pile of turf in the yard to pee).
They both went in and shortly afterwards there was the sound of running water
In the middle of all this there was a loud banging on the front door and two guards came in to empty the place.
One came into the kitchen and began to clear out the crowd, when he saw the bathroom door closed, he banged on it loudly
The door swung open and Tommy and Paddy stood there starkers - both drying themselves off after having a bath   
The Guard spun on his heels, turned to the publican, Maisie Friel, and said, "You'll need to be emptying your pub" - then they left
We spoke to Paddy and Tommy about the week years later and both reacted the same - "We were a couple of wild lads in those days"
Jim Carroll