Julia Clifford: Music in Ireland
Julia criss-crossed the Irish Sea all her life. Home was always County Kerry: her parents’ house, brother Denis Murphy’s or sister Bridgie Kelleher’s. She spent extended periods back in Ireland in the 1950s and 1970s and went over at least twice a year until the early 1990s when Bridgie died and then the journey became too much for her. She was a regular at the Fleadhs and after beating Bobby Casey in the 1962 Fulham Fleadh, went on to win the All-Ireland in Mullingar in 1963. In her seventies, after John died, Julia was invited to perform at many music events, including the Cork Folk Festival which she visited on several occasions.
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Unidentified location, Ireland. Playing for a dance with Denis Murphy and John Clifford.
Advert for the Star of Munster Ceili Band – St Patrick’s Night Ceili in Borris (Co. Carlow).
A session at the 1959 Thurles (Tipperary) Fleadh.
The Corkman from 21st june, 1962 features a front cover photo of Julia in a session during the Fleadh in Gorey (Wexford). ALso playing with the Cliffords is Susan O’Sullivan from Lahinch (Clare).
Outdoor session at the Enniscorthy Fleadh in 1967, with Paddy Moloney, Denis Murphy and others.
An outdoor session in Listowel, at the 1973 Fleadh. With Cork men Dan O’Connell, Johnny O’Leary and Denis Murphy.
With Denis Murphy during the 1973 Fleadh in Listowel.
Playing with Denis and Johhny O’Leary for son Billy’s wedding in 1974. John Clifford’s brother Tim on drums.
A photo taken by Jill Freedman.
Press report from an unknown Kerry paper in 1984, which includes the information that Julia is “home until September 18th”.
At the Fiddler’s Fancy concert in Kenmare, during the 1985 Cibeal festival. With Matt Carnitch, Denis McMahon, Donal O’Connor and Connie O’Connell.
The prgramme from the 1985 Cibeal Festival in Kenmare, Co. Kerry.
At Bridgie’s house in Lisheen. Julia is sporting her badge from the National Folk Festival (England).
From a concert at Slattery’s in Dublin.
On the left is Nigel Towse, percussionist and a great friend of Julia’s from Suffolk. He took her over to Kerry several times and eventually settled in Ireland himself, on Sherkin Ireland, Co. Cork.
A session in Dan O’Connell’s in Knocknagree, Co. Cork (just a couple of miles from Lisheen) on a trip home in 1993. With Matt Cranitch and Maurice O’Keeffe.
With Maurice O’Keeffe and Johnny O’Leary, musicians who both grew up very close by to Julia’s homeplace.
Another one from the same session in Dan O’Connell’s front bar. Johnny O’Leary (and Julia’s brother Denis) had been regular musicians there for many years and played for dancing in the big room which Dan built the back of the pub.
The Kerryman, 22nd October 1993.
The photo from the Kerryman, 22nd October 1993.
Probably 1987, playing outside the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork. I wonder what the joke was!
Playing outside at Cork Folk festival with Charlie Healy and Johnny O’Leary.
At Cork Folk Festival in 1987, with Matt Cranitch.
The “Across the Waters” festival in Cork celebrated the Irish diaspora.
Biographies from the programme for Across the Waters.
On stage with Billy during the “Across the Waters” concert in Cork.
With son Billy at his home in Tipperary, 1994.
Julia’s last stage appearance in Ireland – at Cork Folk festival in September 1994.
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