Irish music, good storytelling and the harp were at centre-stage at a sold-out event at the Princess Grace Irish Library on Thursday evening.

A talented harpist, Dr Helen Lawlor specialises in research on music with the focus on musical practice, education and history of the harp. She is also a music lecturer, teacher and an author.

“The journey to this lecture started just over a year ago when I was first introduced to the song sheet collection here at the library. This collection of songs dates from 1840 to about 1940 and was acquired by Princess Grace in 1977. It is a fascinating collection and I was immediately drawn into the rich story that it tells of Irish music, imagery, emigration, nostalgia, politics and daily life in America. Most of the songs are written from an Irish-American perspective. It provides vast resource to scholars – I cannot imagine the potential loss to future resources had this collection not been preserved so carefully,” she said.

A very informative and entertaining lecture traced the changing nature and description of the Irish harp through its history, myth, poetry, literature and music to the present day. The evening was made very special and poignant by the fact that the performance by the Irish group Dubh Linn included songs from the Princess Grace Music sheet collection.

Dubh Linn are no strangers to the area. This year and last they performed at sold-out concerts on Saint Patrick’s Day in Cap d’Ail and the Mayor of Cap d’Ail, Xavier Beck, was a special guest at the Library on Thursday.

PHOTO: Members of Dubh Linn, trustees of the Library, Xavier Beck, second from right, and Dr Helen Lawlor, centre Martina Brodie