From Castlebar - County Mayo -

How Tomás Got His Fiddle Back
By Benen Tierney
23, Jan 2015 - 10:17

How Tomás Got His Fiddle Back
CRCfm documentary to tell the story of blind Castlebar musician Tomás Langan

Late one October night in 2010, McCarthy's Bar on Main Street Castlebar was broken into by a number of thieves. Not finding much in the till, they came across a violin in its case and, for reasons unknown, smashed it to pieces. The owner of the violin, Tomás Langan and one of his fellow musicians Bernard Joyce, who were both there that night, had left their instruments at the bar with no sense of putting them at risk.

The violin was not only valuable (estimated value up to €2,000) but much loved and used by visually impaired Tomás, who is a graduate of UCD with a BSc in Psychology.

Born and raised in Castlebar, Tomás started learning music at St Joseph's School for the Blind in Drumcondra (now renamed as ChildVision). Involved with local Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann from an early age, he played in many grúpa ceol. Every year he cycles from Mizen to Malin for Guide Dogs funding and has raised in the region of €25,000 so far.

Tomás is the main subject of a new CRCfm programme entitled ‘How Tomás Got His Fiddle Back', in which he gives us an insight into modern living as a blind person.

The 40 minute documentary by Mayo radio producer Fin Keegan explores the reality of blindness and visual impairment in Ireland today through the personal story of Tomás Langan. The intensity of Tomás' loss of that violin leads into conversations about the relationship between blindness and musicality with Catherine McEvoy (a music teacher to blind children and scholar of blind musicians in Irish history), with Joe Bollard (blind advocate and raconteur), and with Tomás himself.

Fin Keegan, an experienced radio producer and presenter is candid about his own assumptions as a sighted person, and a walk with Tomás (and a train ride) help him to learn and understand more. Before returning to Westport, Fin was a Producer and frequent on-air host for the NPR network affiliate, KNPR News 88.9, in the United States. KNPR broadcasts to Southern Nevada, Southern Utah, and parts of California and Arizona.

‘‘How Tomás Got His Fiddle Back' will be broadcast on CRCfm on Monday 2nd February 2015 at 8pm.

CRCfm broadcasts from Castlebar on 102.9fm, online at and on smartphones through the tunein app.

© Copyright 2015 by Castlebar - County Mayo -