Miriam meets... Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Sheila McNally
This week, Miriam O'Callaghan interviews musician Colm Mac Con Iomaire and his wife Sheila McNally.
Colm is a member of The Frames and is also involved in other musical projects. They describe how his music is the soundtrack to their lives and how they manage the challenges of having a touring musician in the family. Colm explains to Miriam that he learnt to play the fiddle as a child, started busking in his teens and, more than twenty years ago, took a year off college to play with The Frames. He never went back!
While the idea of marriage didn't particularly appeal to them, they describe how when their children arrived, it seemed the right thing to do. Sheila says that they both now work harder at their relationship than before they got married.
Their eldest child Darach has Fragile X syndrome, an inherited intellectual disability. He has also been diagnosed with autism. They describe how they noticed that his development as a baby wasn't typical and the shock of finding out that his condition wasn't one that could be "fixed". They reflect on the grieving process that they experienced, the challenge of securing services for their son and the positive difference that their local school St Senan's in County Wexford and the arrival of the assistance dog Cassie from Irish Guide Dogs have made to their lives.
Both discuss their hopes and fears for the future and reflect on the spiritual beliefs that shape their lives.
Colm performed his own composition Study in Scarlett; the traditional air Fainne Gael an Lae with his own reel Tip the Can and the track Thou Shalt Not Carry Timber from his album The Hare's Corner. He is accompanied by Frank Tait; Colm Querney and Catherine Fitzgerald.