The Dunne family are traditional musicians of great renown, however it is the violin owned by 75 year old Bernie Dunne from Cork that makes them unique.
‘Newsbeat’ reporter Bill O’Herlihy catches up with Bernie Dunne in County Clare to learn more about his unusual fiddle. While it is no Stradivarius, Bernie’s violin has already been featured in an important book on European musical instruments.
Bernie made his rectangular fiddle from pieces of an orange box which he nailed together. Once he was satisfied with how the violin sounded, he glued the pieces into place. He has been playing his unique fiddle for almost seven years and prefers it to an ordinary fiddle. He would not swap it for anything and has even turned down an offer of five pounds for the instrument.
Bill O’Herlihy wonders if it is difficult to earn a living as a travelling musical playing the violin around the towns and cities of Ireland to which Bernie replies
Well I didn’t die of the hunger so far and I’m at it all of me lifetime.
Bernie Dunne demonstrates how anyone can play his fiddle by encouraging Bill O’Herlihy to hold the bow. He then plays a tune by moving the fiddle up and down the bow.
A ‘Newsbeat’ report by Bill O’Herlihy broadcast on 5 January 1966.