Julia Clifford Memorial
In June 2023, thanks to a partnership between her family and a group of her friends in England, a permanent memorial was installed in the village of Knocknagree, a place where Julia spent many happy hours playing her fiddle.
It takes the form of an individually commissioned bench overlooking the green, with the special feature of a sound recording of Julia Clifford embedded in the bench, which may be listened to via mobile phone.
If you visit, you can scan the QR code on the bench and listen to Julia playing Bridgie Con Matt’s Polka. As her grandson Denis Clifford said at the official launch on 16th June 2023, you can sit in beautiful Co. Cork whilst looking at beautiful Co. Kerry! If you can’t visit, you can scan the code from the photo here and listen to the track, but unfortunately you will still be sitting in your own sitting room or wherever!
The memorial came about as a result of the 2019 festival “I Looked East and I Looked West” which I and a group of friends organised in Stowmarket in Suffolk, a town with which Julia had a close association. That event made a small surplus, and I suggested to Julia’s family that this be put towards a permanent memorial in Ireland. Eventually the idea came to have a bench with a QR code embedded on it, enabling the person who sits there to listen to Julia playing the fiddle! The family then took up the reins, and the result is a bespoke design of bench which will be a unique memorial to a unique musician.
The bench was specially designed and made by Irish Recycled Products Ltd of Birr, Co. Offaly, who specialise in eco-friendly, maintenance-free outdoor furniture made from 100% recycled plastic otherwise destined for landfill. Thanks are due to Cork County Council and Knocknagree Community Development Group for enabling this memorial to be installed and for welcoming it so warmly.
The launch was a wonderful meeting of family, friends and community, and fortunately the speeches (myself, Denis Clifford, Bryan O’Leary, Matt Cranitch and various local dignitaries) were outnumbered by the tunes played! There’s a video of myself, Billy Clifford, Brian O’Leary and Matt Cranitch playing on the bench itself here: Julia Clifford Bench Launch. Thanks to Liz Cranitch for the video.