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The Jack Lyons and Jimmy Fitzgerald Commemorative Weekend

1st October 2017

The Jack Lyons and Jimmy Fitzgerald Commemorative Weekend is set for September 30th and October 1st at Kilcoolys Country House, Ballybuninon. A great weekend of music, song and dance is planned, so for all music lovers it is a weekend not to be missed.
 Special emphasis shall be give to fiddle and concertinas as these were the instruments of choice for both gentlemen. So an open invitation to all these musicans is issued to come along and join in the fun. For further details call 068 27112
 Jimmy Fitzgerald played the fiddle, and this unassuming gentleman must be given credit for the time he spent down the years, teaching the children of the area. From Ballybunion too came that wonderful character, the late jack Lyons, who was probably best known as a champion dancer and singer in his day, but was no mean performer on the old style two-row concertina. His favourite reel was ‘The Eel in the Sink’.
 Jack Lyons arrived in Ballybunion in the1930s from elsewhere in North Kerry and lived in Church Road. He was married with young children when he arrived. He often played in Liston’s pub, Ballybunion.
 The National Folk Theatre is famous for its unique style of traditional Irish step dance.  This style known as North Kerry, or Munnix, is found nowhere else in Ireland.  We owe this rich tradition to Jeremiah Molyneaux, a travelling dance master who travelled around North Kerry, teaching young and old, in schools and private houses.
 Jeremiah Molyneaux, known locally as Gerry Munnix was born in 1883 at Gunsboro in North Kerry. He was the youngest of a family of seven, four boys and three girls.  His mother was Ellen Scanlon, a dressmaker and his father was William Molyneaux, a blacksmith.
 Munnix learned his dancing from Ned Batt Walsh.  Throughout his younger years he perfected his dancing and won the Munster dancing championship at 18 years of age.  He began teaching when he was 20 and held his first ever class in the kitchen of his own house.  From this time on Munnix travelled around North Kerry and West Limerick perfecting and teaching his unique style of dance until he was 70.  He taught many fine dancers in his time, people like Liam Tarrant, Jerry Nolan, John McCarthy, Jack Lyons, to name but a few.


1st October 2017