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Galway celebrities open up their LP library in new ten-part radio series

Two Galway natives are among the ten celebrities offering listeners the chance to take a virtual peak through their music collection, as broadcaster Pat O’Mahony kicks off a second series of For the Record, his weekly series going out on RTÉ Gold.

The concept is to rifle through a celeb’s physical musical collection, stepping back through their life story at a time when physical records – mainly vinyl, but also CDs and even cassettes – are making an against-the-streaming-odds comeback.

Major music fan, radio and TV producer and presenter, Pat O’Mahony, visits the homes the celebs who, like him, have over the years amassed significant hard-copy record collections.

Among those celebrities are Athenry native Julie Feeney and comedian Joe Rooney, a native of Tuam, offering an insight into their musical taste via their vinyl and CD collections.

Although Julie is now based in Dublin, the bulk of her collection – mostly CDs – remains in the family home outside Athenry.

And she reveals that there’s ‘some talk’ now of possibly moving back there with her two young daughters – opening up access to the collection because she reveals she already plays them all kinds of music regularly as part of their musical education.

“She has a really wide range of taste in music, from classical to trad, to folk to classic and indie pop and rock,” says Pat.

“She particularly relates to longing and loneliness in lyrics – and ironically for someone whose career is making music, she treasures long periods of silence at home.”

But her diverse musical taste means that her collections has everything from modern opera and classic British folk to nineties indie and pop.

Comedian, musician and Fr Ted veteran Joe Rooney has lived most of his life in Dublin and Drogheda – but he was born in Tuam.

“He reveals that he has been collecting records from his time living in Dublin in the eighties, back when he fronted the band Guernica.

“Joe admits regularly annoying the neighbours there in various flats with the volume they were played at, singing along loudly – he obviously enjoyed himself!” says Pat.

Playing the Lou Reed track ‘Mother’, Joe also speaks emotionally recalled while how much he was affected by his own mum’s death from cancer when he was only a child.

The man still best known as Fr Damo reveals that his own taste runs the gamut of reggae, punk, pop and beyond, and not surprisingly he’s also a big fan of own son’s band – the unusually spelled modernlove. – who plan on releasing their debut album soon.

Pat’s guests also include veteran broadcaster Dave Fanning, Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik, artist and Thin Lizzy collaborator Jim Fitzpatrick, Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh, former Boomtown Rats and Sinead O’Connor manager Fachtna O Ceallaigh, TV producer Bill Hughes, chef Paul Flynn and weather forecaster Evelyn Cusack.

It’s also a chance for Pat himself – an avid record collector – to poke around in other people’s home…and there’s no burglary involved!

“For some people it’s books, for me it’s records. But It’s only relatively recently that I realised I am an actual record collector,” he says.

“Up until then I always figured I was just a bit of a hoarder who also happened to be a music fan who hung onto, not only records, both vinyl and CDs, but also to gig tickets and laminates, music magazines and other bits and bobs of music memorabilia,” he adds.

There are ten 55-minute episodes of For the Record, presented and produced by Pat O’Mahony for RTÉ Gold, beginning with Dave Fanning on Sunday, April 14, at 6pm. The show featuring Julie Feeney is on May 26, and Joe Rooney is on June 16.

The series can be listened to anywhere in the world via the RTÉ Gold website or via radio apps, and smart TVs and speakers.

Pictured: Julie Feeney at home in Athenry – dwarfed by her music collection!


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