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Profile - Pat Campbell: Around this ancient building, A work of art is shown, With treasures in its bosom, To the young folk unknown. Its rooms are overcrowded Our heritage on show in the dry stone wall of Leslies Built centuries ago. A boundary wall surrounding To protect a great demesne Where people came like snail on crawl When famine was in flame. Its history of our country That’s without a doubt The pots are thin where once within They stirred the stirabout. The parlour scene is like a dream With traditional design Where boots and socks and dress and cap, Turn back the years of time. All sheltered by a forest That’s maturing every day., Nourished by a weeping wind From the mountain of Sliabh Beagh. Grand stables for his horses When their daily toil is o’er That drew the wealthy carriages Round to the Castle door. They still hold eyes across the ocean For they’re coming every year To enjoy the relaxation In a priory atmosphere. The lines that I have written You can easily understand, Samantha’s left no more to dream Of castles in the sand. So composed Pat Campbell after his visit to Castle Leslie, Glaslough, and indeed many events and scenes have been immortalised in poems written by the same Pat. His writings only began some of years ago and more by accident than design when he accepted a challenge to write verses, praising his own Tydavnet in Co. Monaghan. Instant Images. He writes in a style that is easily understood and brings instant images to the mind of the reader. What he says of one place could describe many because, as he says, there ae hundreds of Tydavnets all over the country. Poetry, he says, is an art form and like all art is judged mainly by non-artists as they are his audience and they must understand his sentiments. He has read Kavanagh, who, he claims, ‘made the world a small wee place and a barrel of spraying stuff the ocean’. He, in his own way, is doing similar. He has three critics, who help him improve his lines – his wife Mary, Peter Keenan and Brian Deery. Storytelling. His poems tell a story but real storytelling is a special art and his talents here have been recognised as he conducted a workshop on the art of storytelling at a weekend organised by Oxford City Council and he has been asked to tour Universities and schools in England giving lectures. I asked him for a sample and he entertained me for half an hour with a story of a travelling woman, who came to his house, when he was nine years old and sometime later he witnessed Greta McKenna help the same woman give birth to a child along the side of the street in Tydavnet. His objectives, his turn of phrase and his metaphors held me spellbound throughout the story. For his material he loves to visit the local pub and talk to older men and listen to their telling of tales, which he can then adapt. He has a great respect for age and claims that proper training only begins late in life and that an old person in the corner should be listened to and not put into a ‘Home’ to end their lives in loneliness. Beginnings. Pat’s father, Patrick, was one of the Mac Caoighbeal from Bragan and his mother was Cassie Woods from Killylough. He was born in Clarna in 1928 but at an early age the family moved to Clintycasta, where Pat now lives. He has one brother, Mick, and three sisters – Maggie Wilde (England), Mary Ann Caulfield (Scotstown) and Kathleen (Monaghan). He attended Cornagilta N.S. under Master Owens and later Master Murray. However, his school days ended when, at the age of ten, he was seriously injured by a horse and suffered amnesia for two years. His working life began on the farm and for a time with Monaghan Co. Co. He spent some time scutching flax in McKenna’s (Ogs) Mill and in Caulfield’s Mill. Music. Around that time Nicholas Sherlock had a Ceili Band and Pat became their drummer. He learned the accordion in his spare time and then began learning the trumpet. His father banished him to the byre to practice and neighbours often wondered that the weird noises were that were coming from the cowshed. He then joined Jim McQuaid in the ‘Flying Tigers’ and in 1956 set up what became famous as ‘The Pat Campbell Showband’. Their first date was for Fr. George McCarron in Carrickroe Hall and although Pat was unhappy with the performance, he was given five more dates. His original line-up was: Mick (his brother), Phine Corrigan, Jimmy McKenna, Kevin Maguire and Pat Columb as lead vocalist. He later had Colm Brennan (R.I.P.), Arthur Sherry and Mary Connolly in the band and, as some moved on, others took their places: Frank Murphy, Benny Lambe (R.I.P.), Colm McQuaid, Kevin McKenna and others. Those were hard days on the road but he describes them as ‘big days in a poor time’. Normal wages were £2.50 per week, but for the hours they were on the road, playing as they did six and seven nights a week, the pay was bad. Pat drove the minibus himself, played in the band and handled all the correspondence. They began the journey by saying the Rosary and in two years put up over 120,00 miles on the clock. Brilliant. He then spotted two brilliant band men and signed them up. They were Vinnie O’Donnell and Terry Dynes. He was heartbroken at the news of Terry’s death last week. He hailed him as ‘a massive singer’, who could mimic any of the top names at the time and told of one night he impersonated Roy Orbinson and went down a treat. Pat and Colm McQuaid wrote a special song for Terry, which they put on record. It sold very well but they were too small an outfit to break in to the big time and the charts. The song was called ‘Keep it Safer on the Roads’. Vinnie now plays with Declan Nerney and his band. Dawn Knight and brother, Matt, joined the band and she too was an excellent singer with her own unique sound. She performed in a National Song Contest one year. On journeys to and from venues, the craic was mighty in the van with plenty of lies being told and comedian, Benny, reading his version of the Clogher Gazette, Benny was an artist at music, at painting and at entertaining - and sadly he too has gone to his eternal reward. Tony Cannon came from Donegal, joined the band and settled in Emyvale, now playing with Dominic Kirwan’s Band. Pat recounted many amusing incidents of the showband days and praised his band members for their talents and commitment to the job. He also spoke highly of others like John McManus, with whom he worked. Family. In 1961 he married Mary, nee McCooey from Monaghan town and they have seven children – Sean (Tydavnet); Joseph (Drogheda); Catherine (Rafeenan); Marguerite (Sligo); Patrick (Andys , Monaghan,) Michael and Peter (both at home). Philosopher. Pat is a philosopher and is constantly observing life around him. Many things about it make him sad, like the troubles, the unemployment and the lack of foresight by so many. He has come up with ideas for employment and has presented them to the authorities but was saddened by their lack of interest. He is very involved in Heritage and sees our heritage as our saviour. When he looks at Fermanagh, Tyrone and Monaghan he sees so much to offer. There are the mountains and lakes for walking, fishing, boating and hunting – nowhere in Europe could such facilities be offered without great investment. ‘The country is full of top class musicians, both modern and traditional, there are hundreds of Val Doonicans about’, so he says, ‘let’s sell our talent, let’s promote ourselves and our surroundings, let’s use our heritage to our advantage. I just hope, Pat, that some of your ideas come to fruition, as we will be the better for it. By Peadar McMahon, published in the Dungannon Observer. The band photo is not complete was was all I could get. Re. with Sinead - Pat wrote a little poem about Sinead for Ann and Peter Driver and Ann asked Past to present it to her. This article is copyright.
All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Profile - Pat Campbell: Around this ancient building, A work of art is shown, With treasures in its bosom, To the young folk unknown. Its rooms are overcrowded Our heritage on show in the dry stone wall of Leslies Built centuries ago. A boundary wall surrounding To protect a great demesne Where people came like snail on crawl When famine was in flame. Its history of our country That’s without a doubt The pots are thin where once within They stirred the stirabout. The parlour scene is like a dream With traditional design Where boots and socks and dress and cap, Turn back the years of time. All sheltered by a forest That’s maturing every day., Nourished by a weeping wind From the mountain of Sliabh Beagh. Grand stables for his horses When their daily toil is o’er That drew the wealthy carriages Round to the Castle door. They still hold eyes across the ocean For they’re coming every year To enjoy the relaxation In a priory atmosphere. The lines that I have written You can easily understand, Samantha’s left no more to dream Of castles in the sand. So composed Pat Campbell after his visit to Castle Leslie, Glaslough, and indeed many events and scenes have been immortalised in poems written by the same Pat. His writings only began some of years ago and more by accident than design when he accepted a challenge to write verses, praising his own Tydavnet in Co. Monaghan. Instant Images. He writes in a style that is easily understood and brings instant images to the mind of the reader. What he says of one place could describe many because, as he says, there ae hundreds of Tydavnets all over the country. Poetry, he says, is an art form and like all art is judged mainly by non-artists as they are his audience and they must understand his sentiments. He has read Kavanagh, who, he claims, ‘made the world a small wee place and a barrel of spraying stuff the ocean’. He, in his own way, is doing similar. He has three critics, who help him improve his lines – his wife Mary, Peter Keenan and Brian Deery. Storytelling. His poems tell a story but real storytelling is a special art and his talents here have been recognised as he conducted a workshop on the art of storytelling at a weekend organised by Oxford City Council and he has been asked to tour Universities and schools in England giving lectures. I asked him for a sample and he entertained me for half an hour with a story of a travelling woman, who came to his house, when he was nine years old and sometime later he witnessed Greta McKenna help the same woman give birth to a child along the side of the street in Tydavnet. His objectives, his turn of phrase and his metaphors held me spellbound throughout the story. For his material he loves to visit the local pub and talk to older men and listen to their telling of tales, which he can then adapt. He has a great respect for age and claims that proper training only begins late in life and that an old person in the corner should be listened to and not put into a ‘Home’ to end their lives in loneliness. Beginnings. Pat’s father, Patrick, was one of the Mac Caoighbeal from Bragan and his mother was Cassie Woods from Killylough. He was born in Clarna in 1928 but at an early age the family moved to Clintycasta, where Pat now lives. He has one brother, Mick, and three sisters – Maggie Wilde (England), Mary Ann Caulfield (Scotstown) and Kathleen (Monaghan). He attended Cornagilta N.S. under Master Owens and later Master Murray. However, his school days ended when, at the age of ten, he was seriously injured by a horse and suffered amnesia for two years. His working life began on the farm and for a time with Monaghan Co. Co. He spent some time scutching flax in McKenna’s (Ogs) Mill and in Caulfield’s Mill. Music. Around that time Nicholas Sherlock had a Ceili Band and Pat became their drummer. He learned the accordion in his spare time and then began learning the trumpet. His father banished him to the byre to practice and neighbours often wondered that the weird noises were that were coming from the cowshed. He then joined Jim McQuaid in the ‘Flying Tigers’ and in 1956 set up what became famous as ‘The Pat Campbell Showband’. Their first date was for Fr. George McCarron in Carrickroe Hall and although Pat was unhappy with the performance, he was given five more dates. His original line-up was: Mick (his brother), Phine Corrigan, Jimmy McKenna, Kevin Maguire and Pat Columb as lead vocalist. He later had Colm Brennan (R.I.P.), Arthur Sherry and Mary Connolly in the band and, as some moved on, others took their places: Frank Murphy, Benny Lambe (R.I.P.), Colm McQuaid, Kevin McKenna and others. Those were hard days on the road but he describes them as ‘big days in a poor time’. Normal wages were £2.50 per week, but for the hours they were on the road, playing as they did six and seven nights a week, the pay was bad. Pat drove the minibus himself, played in the band and handled all the correspondence. They began the journey by saying the Rosary and in two years put up over 120,00 miles on the clock. Brilliant. He then spotted two brilliant band men and signed them up. They were Vinnie O’Donnell and Terry Dynes. He was heartbroken at the news of Terry’s death last week. He hailed him as ‘a massive singer’, who could mimic any of the top names at the time and told of one night he impersonated Roy Orbinson and went down a treat. Pat and Colm McQuaid wrote a special song for Terry, which they put on record. It sold very well but they were too small an outfit to break in to the big time and the charts. The song was called ‘Keep it Safer on the Roads’. Vinnie now plays with Declan Nerney and his band. Dawn Knight and brother, Matt, joined the band and she too was an excellent singer with her own unique sound. She performed in a National Song Contest one year. On journeys to and from venues, the craic was mighty in the van with plenty of lies being told and comedian, Benny, reading his version of the Clogher Gazette, Benny was an artist at music, at painting and at entertaining - and sadly he too has gone to his eternal reward. Tony Cannon came from Donegal, joined the band and settled in Emyvale, now playing with Dominic Kirwan’s Band. Pat recounted many amusing incidents of the showband days and praised his band members for their talents and commitment to the job. He also spoke highly of others like John McManus, with whom he worked. Family. In 1961 he married Mary, nee McCooey from Monaghan town and they have seven children – Sean (Tydavnet); Joseph (Drogheda); Catherine (Rafeenan); Marguerite (Sligo); Patrick (Andys , Monaghan,) Michael and Peter (both at home). Philosopher. Pat is a philosopher and is constantly observing life around him. Many things about it make him sad, like the troubles, the unemployment and the lack of foresight by so many. He has come up with ideas for employment and has presented them to the authorities but was saddened by their lack of interest. He is very involved in Heritage and sees our heritage as our saviour. When he looks at Fermanagh, Tyrone and Monaghan he sees so much to offer. There are the mountains and lakes for walking, fishing, boating and hunting – nowhere in Europe could such facilities be offered without great investment. ‘The country is full of top class musicians, both modern and traditional, there are hundreds of Val Doonicans about’, so he says, ‘let’s sell our talent, let’s promote ourselves and our surroundings, let’s use our heritage to our advantage. I just hope, Pat, that some of your ideas come to fruition, as we will be the better for it. By Peadar McMahon, published in the Dungannon Observer. The band photo is not complete was was all I could get. Re. with Sinead - Pat wrote a little poem about Sinead for Ann and Peter Driver and Ann asked Past to present it to her. This article is copyright.