A BELLEEK musician has taken to the streets to help bring post-Pandemic joy to the Fermanagh masses.
Tiernan O’Rourke has literally been taking his piano ‘on the road’ and tinkles the ivories to get the public tapping – and even singing – along.
By entertaining shoppers and passers-by, Tiernan says he is on a one-man musical crusade to bring enjoyment back to the people after enduring the two-year pandemic and the various lockdowns that came with it.
After we all endured this ordeal of isolation, Tiernan insists that music holds the key to us coming together and enjoying life again.
He said: “After all the stuff with Covid, it is nice to see people coming together. I come from a background where people were always singing around the piano and I thought it would be great to make that space available to your everyday person.
“You can play music in the pubs and hotels and so on, but you’re only going to get a certain slice of the population that way. Whereas I think bringing it out onto the street makes it accessible and available to everyone.
“It’s an invitation for people to come together and sing. There was a lady up there the other day who sat with me and sang ‘Danny Boy’ with me.
“The feedback has been really, really positive. We’ve all been through such a difficult time these last few years and music is incredibly powerful. It can be soothing as well.
“We’ve all gone through a mass trauma really and this is my response – to provide some sort of soothing for that trauma. To bring back some connection after all that alienation and isolation that we’ve all been through. Effectively, during the pandemic we were incarcerated.”
Tiernan, who will turn 48 next month, was born to Irish parents in Birmingham.
He and his parents moved back to Ireland when he was 15 and for the last 10 years has made Belleek his home. Tiernan had been working on a cruise ship before the pandemic intervened, causing him to lose his job.
He is now re-inventing himself and is drawing on the music that surrounded him when he was growing up.
“I’ve taken the piano out in Belleek and that’s been well-received. I’ve played in Sligo as well. The plan is to do a complete tour of the whole country.
“The street is a good place to come back to basics. The beauty of the street is that you’re meeting people from all walks of life.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition
Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere