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Doolin - people, places & culture

by Tintaun

Eddie Stack was a writer, musician, & folklore enthusiast. Eddie was the eldest son of Ennistymon publicans Jimmy and Monsie Stack. Eddies upbringing was rich in Irish culture and he was fortunate to learn to play music from his grandmother, a fiddle player. Musicians and storytellers often gathered at the family home and it proved to be a formative environment.

An engineering graduate, he took up a post supervising the installation of water systems on the Aran Islands & it was here that Stack became fully immersed in language and music. Inis Oír, in particular, left a lasting impression on him.

In 2011, Stack was offered a position in the Celtic studies department at the University of California, Berkeley, where he brought an engaged and dynamic approach to the subject. He also initiated links between Berkeley and NUI Galway, which developed into a thriving exchange programme.

This, his final book - entitled "Doolin "People, Place and Culture" was published in 2015.

In Doolin: People, Place & Culture he has brought together his personal knowledge of the village and his friends who live or lived there, his research skills, his love of music and his gift of storytelling to present a gorgeous book that will appeal to historians, traditional musicians, locals, and anybody who has an interest in or love of Ireland.

The book has five sections:

People, Place & Culture: a fascinating history of Doolin from prehistory, through Botious MacClancy and the MacNamara's to the present day.
The Way We Were: reminiscences of the last Doolin native Irish speaker, Paddy Pharaic Mhichil Shannon, who was born, brought up and died in Doolin.
The Music Makers: entertaining biographies and remembered conversations with Micho, Pakie and Gussie Russell, and John and Paddy Killoughery, with honourable mentions of neighbouring musicians Willie Clancy, Martin Talty and others; alongside the music was, of course, the dancing that the people of Doolin loved until it was considered that they were having far too good a time and it was stopped.
The Storytellers: stories and memoirs of Stiofáin Uí Ealaoire, Seán Ó'Carún and others, and how we have Séamus Delargy and Seán MacMathúna to thank for recording on tape and paper some of those stories before they were lost forever.
The Gentry: a short history of the colourful MacNamara family from nearby Ennistymon, who had a house and friends in Doolin.