St Andrew’s Night Ceilidh


30 November 2006


The weather could not have been worse and the technological wizardry of Tony Curry and others could not have been more tested when they successfully broadcast a live ceilidh from Lismore to 139 countries with a laptop and a phone line, both of which could have lost power at any time.

 Tony runs Radio 6 International a not for profit Glasgow station which has listeners all over the world and whose focus is contemporary unsigned bands. However they also like to celebrate St Andrew’s Day. On

30 November last year they broadcast an interview with Jack McConnell and this year his son Leo came up with the audacious ideas of broadcasting from Lismore where the Currys have had a home for a number for years.

The Rusty Nails, a Glasgow Ceilidh band, were the first casualty when they remained storm bound in Port Appin waiting for a weather window which never came. Tony had them on tape of course but to make two hours worth of broadcasting he had to call on volunteers in the hall. 

Thanks in great amounts went to them he said but it was the compere for the evening, Jimmie MacGregor, (well known to Scottish audiences for his MacGregor’s Gathering on Radio Scotland) and his consummate professionalism, who held the whole thing together and was the hero of the hour.

Fortunately the phone lines did not go down and the power stayed on and Jimmie was able to interview Donald Black about his book “Sgeul No Dha as a Lios” (A Tale or two from Lismore) and the new Gaelic Museum to open early

 next year.



Later he spoke to David Wilson who runs the shop and Post Office, the latter having recently won the best Rural Post Office in Scotland.

The Ceilidh opened with the Lismore Primary Choir enthusiastically singing Gaelic songs conducted by head Teacher Freda MacGregor. Other singers were Freda MacGregor, Mary MacDougall, Laura Cook, Katy


Wright, Duncan Livingstone and Sarah Campbell who between them sang in Gaelic, English and Portuguese with audience participation where appropriate. Most of the singers sang more than once in duets, quartets and many extra solos.

The Celidh was heard on Oban FM, Radio Nevis, Cullin Radio, Two Loss, World FM in Wellington New Zealand and many other places. The evening ended with Jimmie singing a specially composed song for St Andrew.


Karen Curry, who was front of house organising everything including the raffle, is a member of the British Lung Foundation to whom the evening proceeds were going. Lung conditions, she said, do not receive the attention they deserve and the funds were going to help establishing specialist nurses in this field.


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