Monday 18 November 2019

Proud day for George's family

Liam Gaul, who performed the official unveiling, pictured with Colm O’Muiri
Liam Gaul, who performed the official unveiling, pictured with Colm O’Muiri
Artists who created the mural, pictured with members of the Ross family.

Maria Pepper

A former student of the legendary accordion player George Ross, was given the honour of officially launching a mural of the late musician at a ceremony attended by proud members of his family.

Local history author and musician Liam Gaul who was taught to play the button accordion by George, spoke at the special event which was also attended by the Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin and Cllr. George Lawlor.

George Ross who lived in the Faythe won the All-Ireland Button Accordion Championship at the Fleadh Cheoil in Ennis, County Clare in 1956, embarking on a tour of America with other Irish artists in the same year. He died in 1994 at the age of 78 years.

During his time in the US, he was invited to perform on the famous Johnny Carson television show which was broadcast from coast to coast in America.

George recorded four 78 r.p.m. discs for HMV in Dublin and his most famous rendition of the reel 'The Mason's Apron' featured on one of the records. A musical note from the tune forms part of the giant mural.

George made many broadcasts on Radio Éireann as a soloist and in duet with Paddy Kavanagh on fiddle. Both men played with the Mayglass Céilí Band which made an LP vinyl record in the early 1960's for the Dublin Records label. It was sold throughout Ireland and Britain as well as America and was called The Pride of Erin featuring the Mayglass Céili Band from County Wexford.

George was the leader of the band at the time and in later years, together with Gerry Forde on fiddle, Conor Geoghegan on Flute and Liam Gaul on piano, the group broadcast as the Tuskar Quartet on RTE.

The mural was a community project organised and supported by Paddy Berry of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann, Liam Turner, principal of the Faythe School and participants in the Men's Breakfast Morning at the Southend Family Resource Centre in Maudlintown.

The portrait was designed and painted by 3rd year Fine Art and Design students as part of a community-based learning module at the Wexford Campus of Carlow IT, following historical research and practical training.

The mural was funded through an Amenity Grant from Wexford County Council. The lower end was painted by students from St. John of God School, The Faythe where those who attended the launch were treated to refreshments and traditional music afterwards.

Wexford People

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