Launch of Percy French paintings in Galway’s new museum

Connoisseurs of Town Hall To-nite, will forever reserve a front of house memory seat for songwriter, poet and parody king, Percy French. In these ballistic times of rin tin drama, that we must endure as entertainment – Irish turkeys gobbling on a world stage in vocal mortification, (only an Irish Think Tank would muster the gaffe) et al –  – the old refrains of Percy French, when they filter through the tyranny, strike a sweeter cord.    Devoted Statesmen of Percy French will cherish the knowledge that the beloved County Roscommon Troubadour also embraced the special talent of landscape painter. His works adorns the walls of many temples throughout the world. Later signatories to the Percy French roll book will not be sufficiently aware of this salient fact – a reality, indeed, that surfaced during a recent exhibition of his paintings at Galway City Museum.     The exhibition, presented by the Galway Percy French Society in association with the Museum, was a colourful occasion attended by a coterie of Galway’s literary, art, music and other cultural circles. The highly valuable paintings were secured from a private collector in Dublin and ferried with extreme care to the City of the Tribes for public display for a period of ten days. The Galway Exhibition showcased the multifarious talents of the great artist. By popular demand from Galway City Council, the exhibition has been extended for a further ten days.    The exhibition was launched by the Deputy City Mayor, Councillor Brian Walsh, who in his opening speech said he it was a great honour for him to participate at a launch of this nature. It was a privilege to have this splendid collection made available to the people of Galway. While Percy French is synonymous with County Roscommon, the Councillor intoned, he was proud to reveal that the great entertainer had wide family links with County Galway going back to the seventeenth century. The exhibition, he stressed, openly exposed the other side of Percy French’s multi-talented life – a fact that many people may not regrettably be familiar with.  The councillor was quick to reveal that he, himself was not aware of this fact.     Society Secretary, Dr. Maurice McDonald, thanked the Deputy Major for launching the exhibition and the Museum for placing the magnificent facility at the Society’s disposal. Light-heartedly eulogising at some length on the carefree life and times of Percy French – not altogether devoid of its periods of sadness – the Secretary ‘broke the news’ that the entertainer’s first ‘brush’ with painting was by placing a candle flame against the inner well of a white plate, then, with his fingers, creating ribbon etchings across the discoloured delph. A limitless imagination in youthful wanderlust.     One of the high notes of the evening’s ensemble was the reception concert given by two Limerick-based schoolteachers, members of Ancor – Limerick’s newest chamber choir – Deirdre Curley, contralto – (Deirdre has many Roscommon family ties) – accompanied on piano by internationally acclaimed choral musical conductor, Cecelia Madden. Their repertoire embraced a lively and nostalgic meander through the best loved melodies of Percy French. A gathering sing-song ensued and when the Stationmaster shouted  ‘Are you right there, Michael,