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Terry Rafferty Collection

Terry rafferty
Terry Rafferty / Unidentified photographer

This collection of video footage was recorded by Terry Rafferty between 1986 and 2002, providing the viewer with a unique snapshot of the 'Revival' years of the 1980s and 1990s. Terry's husband, Mike Rafferty, arrived in New York in 1949 and was a hugely influential east-Galway flute player, particularly from the 1970s up to his passing in 2011. Terry attended most of Mike's music gatherings and decided to record as many as possible on video. Through Terry's dedication to recording, we have a front row view of various gigs and concerts but also more informal gatherings such as Mike, Willie Kelly and Billy McComiskey playing in the basement of the Rafferty house, a popular late night venue for music sessions.

The entire Rafferty Collection consists of ca. 250 hours of video footage and for this exhibition we have selected thirty clips recorded between 1986 and 1992, featuring a wide range of ages. These women and men, including Mike Rafferty, Jack Coen, Paddy Reynolds and younger players such as Joanie Madden, Jerry O'Sullivan and Deirdre Connolly to name but a few, left a rich legacy in the Irish traditional music community in New York.

9 July 1989

To set the scene for this Collection we begin with a light-hearted moment. It's the 9th of July 1989 and Mayo have just beaten Galway in the Connacht Football semi-final replay, a year that Mayo were defeated by Cork in the All-Ireland Final. Mike Rafferty, dressed in his Sunday best, plays the hornpipe 'The flowing tide' and the music is followed by an exchange with Tony, a native of County Mayo.


Click on 1/30 on the top right of the video player above to access individual videos

  1. The flowing tide, hornpipe / Mike Rafferty, flute
  2. Rigney's, reel ; Ambrose Moloney's, reel / Maureen Fitzpatrick, fiddle ; John Fitzpatick, accordion
  3. Doctor Gilbert's, reel ; The star of Munster, reel / Maureen Fitzpatrick, fiddle ; undentified, guitar
  4. The rambling pitchfork, jig ; The bride's favourite, jig / Deirdre Connolly ; Martin Connolly
  5. Money Musk, highland ; untitled, highland ; untitled, highland / Tom Doherty ; Maureen Macken
  6. The bucks of Oranmore, reel / Various performers
  7. Maurice O'Keeffe's no. 2, polka ; The Cobbler, polka / Chris Norman, flute ; Billy McComiskey, accordion
  8. The boys of the lough, reel ; The boys of Ballisodare, reel / Jerry O'Sullivan ; Linda Hickman ; Tony DeMarco
  9. Master McDermott's, reel ; Hand me down the tackle, reel / Paddy Reynolds, fiddle
  10. Farewell to Erin, reel / Jack Coen ; Mike Rafferty ; Paddy Reynolds ; Billy McComiskey
  11. The Doon reel / Mike Rafferty, flute ; Paddy Rafferty, lilting
  12. The duke of Leinster, reel / Jack Coen, flute ; Mike Rafferty, flute ; Billy McComiskey, accordion
  13. The star of Munster, reel / Mike Rafferty, flute ; Jack Coen, flute
  14. The frost is all over, jig ; The Connacht man's rambles, jig / Mike Rafferty ; Tom Doherty ; Felix Dolan
  15. PJ Moloney's favourite, hornpipe ; Dunphy's hornpipe / Mike Rafferty, flute ; Mary Rafferty, accordion
  16. Devanney's goat, reel ; Eddie Moloney's, reel / Mike Rafferty, tin whistle ; Mary Rafferty, tin whistle
  17. The fox on the town, reel ; Micho Russell's, reel / Mike Rafferty, jew's harp ; Mary Rafferty, tin whistle
  18. The burren, reel / Deirdre Carney, tin whistle
  19. Jack Coughlan's reel / Mike Rafferty, flute ; Don Meade, harmonica
  20. O'Donnell's hornpipe / Don Meade, harmonica
  21. Gerry Commane's reel ; Paddy Taylor's reel / Mike Rafferty ; Willie Kelly ; Billy McComiskey
  22. Annie's favourite, hornpipe ; Wade Hampton's, hornpipe / Joanie Madden ; Joe Madden ; Felix Dolan
  23. Unidentified, waltz ; The orphan, jig / Joanie Madden, flute ; Joe Madden, accordion ; Felix Dolan, piano
  24. The Rainy day, reel ; Jackie Fitzpatrick's reel / Micho Russell, tin whistle
  25. The jig of Port Fleadh [comp. Seán Ryan] / Jack Coen, flute
  26. The duke of Leinster, reel / Mike Preston, flute
  27. Jim Conroy's reel ; The pullet, reel / Jack Coen, flute ; Fr. Charlie Coen, concertina
  28. Scatter the mud, jig ; The Nova Scotia jig / Jack Coen, flute ; Billy McComiskey, concertina
  29. Humours of whiskey, slip jig ; Take the bull by the horns, jig / Tom Doherty, accordion ; Martin Connolly, speech
  30. The dances at Kinvara, barndance ; If there weren't any women in the world, barndance / Don Meade, harmonica