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From Ballinasloe to Bagdad
If you go to irelandsownradio.com you will hear the voice of Ballinasloe man,
Martin Costello, introducing jigs, reels ballads and all things Irish from
New Jersey. When I recently spoke to him by phone at his home in Holmdel, he
told me, " I was introduced to music at the age of sixteen by Josie
O'Halloran, a music teacher. He taught me to play the fiddle. In a
short time I could play 12 tunes". He tells me, in a Ballinasloe
accent (only slightly Americanised despite the fact that he owned a travel
agency in downtown Newark for a number of years ) "Music is one of the
purest forms of communication".
He departed for America, "with the fiddle
and twelve tunes", left
down the fiddle
and became a drummer. He soon formed The Martin Costello Band.
His first gig was playing for the New York City's Police Department Annual
Communion Breakfast at the Astor Hotel in Times Square. The band
went on to be very popular in New York and New Jersey, as well as
Boston and Philadelphia. "I saw the need for an Irish radio program,
and established the Irish Road Show. A local radio station agreed to carry the
Irish Road Show, which was heard on a weekly
Martin traveled back to Ireland, spending three
weeks recording Irish
performers all over the country. He brought back the result to his
listeners in the USA and it went down so well that the Irish Road Show became
the most listened to Irish program in America. A U.S. Army General
heard the programme, contacted Martin and asked him to consider putting an
Irish program together for St. Patrick's Day 2005 to be broadcast on U.S.
Armed Forces Radio and TV Network. It was the first ever Irish program to
be broadcast over AFN radio, based in Bagdad, Iraq. It was very popular,
and Martin received many compliments from the U.S. servicemen and women in the
Middle East. Armed Forces Officials say that they received more than 17,000
emails, praising the show, in the days after the broadcast. [One said:
Costello, I wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for the great saint
Patrick's Day program" wrote army Captain Doyle Sewell from Iraq.]
Martin says, "There is a great need for a world-wide communication
system for lovers of Irish music and history, now more than ever. This can be
accomplished with Web broadcasting on Ireland's Own Radio.com".
Ireland's Own Radio webcasts live every
Saturday at 10 am Irish time. and if you are working or having a
sleep-on (or both) on Saturday mornings don't worry; all Martins programmes are
archived and you can tune in anytime.
They say that the best pictures are on
Well, if you go to Martin's ever growing picture gallery you'll find that to be
the case. Avoca, Adare Manor, Carrowkenny, The Cliffs of Moher, you name it,
So, when you hear the Galway accent with,
"......greetings and a hearty cead mile failte to you wherever you may be
on land sea above or beyond...." you'll know you're in the right place.
If you are listening in Belmullet,
Dubai or Duhallow the songs and music on The Irish Road Show will bring you
Tune in to www.irelandsownradio.com
Click on author's byline for bio.