By Larry Cooney
It will be a very special night for the family and relatives of the late Killucan man – Justin Whelehan this Saturday evening – 25 September when the inaugural ‘Fiddler of London’ Gala Showcase event takes place in his memory in the ICC Hammersmith, west London.
Justin passed away suddenly in October 2019 and soon afterwards his young widow Eilish Byrne-Whelehan and her two children pledged to honour his memory with an event involving his love of traditional music.
The ‘Fiddler of London’ 2021, which has quite appropriately become a tribute to the late Justin Whelehan, was subsequently launched just before last Christmas.
And despite the onset of Covid that digital event became a reality last March when Armagh native Méabh Smyth became the inaugural winning ‘Fiddler of London’. Almost six months to the day since then she will be making her London ‘bow’ at this inaugural Fiddler of London Gala Presentation evening. But much credit must also be afforded to the organisers, led by Eilish Byrne-Whelehan, for hosting this extremely successful ‘digital’ event.