Master fiddle maker Jerry Martin explains the craft of making fiddles for the performance of Irish traditional music.

Garrykennedy on the shores of Lough Derg in County Tipperary is the home of master fiddle maker Jerry Martin. No longer able to work, he started to make fiddles as a hobby.

I said I would make fiddles to encourage the childer to play - young lads.

Renowned player Donal O'Connor visits Jerry Martin at home to talk about fiddles and to sample the finished product.

Jerry Martin explains how he goes about making a fiddle, which he is keen to stress, is entirely by hand. 

Regarding his craft,

It's a pity that there’s not more of it done, that people don't practise it, you know it’s an awful thing to be importing in foreign violins when we could keep them ourselves at home.

Jerry Martin hands Donal O’Connor one of his fiddles and asks him to play a reel. He obliges by playing ‘The Mountain Road’.

This extract also features an on-street performance at the 1973 Fleadh Cheoil held in Listowel by accordion player Johnny Leary, fiddler Julia Clifford and her brother Denis Murphy, also on fiddle.

‘Hives of Honeyed Sound’ was Ireland’s 1974 entry in the Golden Harp Festival. The aim of the festival was to promote international exchanges of folk music and folklore programmes and to encourage interest in traditional cultures among the nations represented through the associated competition. It was organised under the auspices of the European Broadcasting Union.

‘Hives of Honeyed Sound’ was first broadcast on 4 June 1974. The researcher and narrator is Ciarán Mac Mathúna.