When planning our trip to Ireland this Spring, one of my main goals was to get back to Malachy Kearns in Roundstone to get a new bodhran which was a birthday gift. I had purchased a smaller one in 2009 but wanted an 18" tuneable. We were pleasantly surprised to find that they were open on the Sunday of the Bank Holiday. I was first helped by a very friendly and knowledgeable Mr. Alam.
Then, who should pop us but "Himself"!
We had such a fun time with him as he showed us around the workshop and explained the process to us with many a funny story. As to the quality of the skins, he said "Old Goats are Best". ( I'm almost 100% sure he wasn't looking at me when he said that.) Not only was the experience wonderful for me, but also great for my friends who were giving me the drum. Malachy taped a stamp commemorating the 75th anniversary of Ireland's Independence, and on which he is pictured playing the bodhran, inside my drum and signed it as well.
It was such a fun and personal experience, and totally unexpected. It was the highlight of the trip and we are still talking about it. Now I'm off to the Irish Arts Center in NYC for lessons so that I can give the bodhran it's due. So thanks Malachy for another great experience in Ireland!