Music from Buenos Aires
The strong Westmeath connection to Argentina is well known. In the nineteenth century, there was a high level of emigration to that country from the Ballymore, Drumraney and surrounding areas.
One of the many interesting historical artefacts that has survived relating to the Irish community in Argentina is a book entitled Poblacht na hÉireann: 110 Original Irish Dance Tunes and Other Pieces for Violin, Flute, etc. Composed by Padraic Ganly. This collection was published by Ganly in Buenos Aires in 1918.
An interactive version of Poblacht na hÉireann can be accessed on the website of the Irish Traditional Music Archive.
The titles of Padraic Ganly’s compositions include many placenames from the south Westmeath region. Among the tunes that you can explore and listen to on the ITMA website are a reel entitled ‘High Baskin’s Fields’ and ‘Kelly of Ardnagrad’, a hornpipe.
While Ganly’s precise origins are unknown, it seems clear that people of Drumraney origin in and around Buenos Aires were among the target audience for his book.