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World Record Attempt in Achill Creates Surge in Tin Whistle Sales

Musical instrument shops nationwide are reporting an unprecedented demand for tin whistles. Shop assistants blame an upcoming World Record attempt by Scoil Acla, the longest-established Summer School in Ireland. It will take place on Achill’s 5km-long Keel Strand on 31st July as part of Scoil Acla’s 1910-2010 Centenary celebrations, bringing together the most tin whistle players ever in one place to play the same tune.

The story of this record attempt has been spreading like wildfire through social networking sites and the Internet, and music shops haven’t been able to keep up with the demand. John (Twin) McNamara is being bombarded with requests to teach people of all ages the tune Fáinne Geal an Lae (Dawning of the Day). “This tune is dear to the hearts of Irish people everywhere,” he said, “it epitomises the people’s struggle to retain their own culture in the face of repression and famine, and it still resonates today.”

Scoil Acla was established in 1910 during Douglas Hyde’s Conradh na Gaeilge movement with the aim of protecting and teaching Irish language, music and culture. It ran for four years, attracting Gaelic revivalists from every level of society. They allowed the national struggle to take precedence after the 1914 Clár.

Scoil Acla was revived in 1985 with 36 pupils and is now a very highly regarded annual event, bringing in over 300 pupils in 2009. Many unique events have been planned for the Centenary year, including the staging of Douglas Hyde’s play, Casadh an t-Súgáin, which was performed in Achill, directed by the artist Paul Henry, during Scoil Acla in 1912.

Concerts, historical exhibitions, a Battle of the Trad Bands, writers’ and set dancing workshops and a Paul Henry centenary weekend are only a few of the activities that visitors to Achill will enjoy during 2010.

Scoil Acla pupils, past pupils, local people and visitors alike will take part in the Guinness Book of World Records tin whistle attempt. To be involved, you will have to learn Fáinne Geal an Lae. See a filmed tutorial on, and all kinds of musical notation, whether you prefer Do, Re, Mi or A, B, C!

For further information, contact Scoil Acla at 098 47353.

Permalink - Posted: January 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm