Since I added the “New Spotlight” section to the website, I’ve been contacted on a regular basis by: people looking for info on some of the musicians and bands mentioned (as in, do you know where they are now), people who used to buy Spotlight every week themselves, sometimes by the musicians (especially if they’ve just been mentioned) and even by Pat Egan’s daughter. It’s all very rewarding of course and I’m glad my site can act as a repository for Pat’s column and other information from the Irish music scene at that time.
Just this week I got a mail – from an Irish lady who now resides in the US – and parts of it so mirrored my own feelings and memories of Spotlight that I thought I’d add it here as a blog for you all to read. Don’t worry, I asked her permission to publish it!
I was looking at some links re: Horslips and came across your website. I have to share how I lived for Thursday after lunch in Dublin. I worked at the Irish language Newspaper at 29 Lower O Connell Street, across from the GPO. The newspaper woman who was an old lady hid my copy of Spotlight for me in the bars of the window of the Bank of Ireland. That had been her spot selling papers for years and years and I look on her as my very best friend in the entire world. Getting my copy of Spotlight was what I lived for every week.
I wrote the first Irish language column on show biz myself. Liam Ó Murchú of RTE asked me to transform the column into a TV series. He got me Jeremy Swan from the BBC as producer. I asked a pal of mine to be the ‘front’ person as I was far too shy to go out front of the cameras myself. I was only 17 at the time. That guy was called Seán Bán Breathnach, now known to all as SBB.
Sadly I have forgotten the name of my dear friend who sold the papers. I moved out to the United States in 1995 and lost touch with everyone. On a visit home I went to the Bank of Ireland to say Hello to her, but her daughter had taken over her spot… she had passed away.
I was the first to write about Brendan Grace who worked at the Independent… and Tara Telephone (later Eamon Carr became the drummer of Horslips). I met Phil Lynott who told me he greatly appreciated what I did for the Irish Language and I could count on his help, if I ever needed it. My cousin Red Peters was known in the clubs as a blues singer.
Because of Facebook, I have made contact again with old friends from Cromwell; Pat Brady out in Australia and Michael Kiely, former Editor of Spotlight, in Dublin. They were the first artists to appear on my very first Irish Language pop show. The show was opened by Mr Jim Tunney, R.I.P. and I still have a group photo of the moment, taken by Roy Esmonde. Roy was the greatest photographer of the stars, as a fan of Spotlight like you will know.
Thank you for uploading some of the old articles. I had every single copy of Spotlight ever printed until everything I owned was put out into the garage. Everything I owned got destroyed from leaks in the roof and that included a treasured letter from Michael Deeny manager of Horslips on very exclusive notepaper that had a gold Celtic design that was awesome.
Is mise, le meas,