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Sunday, 5th August 2018

Rapscallion Flaa'd out in Drawda

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Flaa'd out in Drawda, is the name of Rapscallion's latest song and is about the town of Drogheda and the oncoming juggernaut that is going to hit town next week "Fleadh Cheoil na h'Eireann". 

Who are Rapscallion? Well at the moment they are all members of the McQuillan and Heslin families that is two sets of brothers Jim and Pauric McQuillan and Jonathan and Stuart Heslin. 

The band was formed in the mid noughties by a bunch of lifelong friends who had one thing in common, the love of music and in particular Irish folk music. Mk1 of Rapscallion were Jim, Pauric and Stuart along with Simey "Dalton" McMahon and Dermot "spud" Murphy. 

This then manifested into Mk2 which included legendary local whistler Alan "Fitzy" Fitzpatrick and guitar maestro Cian "Tron" Reay. Along the road Rapscallion  were also very proud to have the great multi instrumentalist Liam "Fly" Reilly from Tubberfinn, Donore also play with them. Liam played on a particularly memorable Irish folk festival in Germany.

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The current members of the band play an array of instruments including tenor banjo, mandolin, guitar, bodhran, whistle, bass and five string banjo. Jonathan joined up in early 2018 and his skills on the bass guitar have certainly upped the ante in the band. 

Fleadh Cheoil is such a massive event for the town, being the biggest irish cultural musical event in the world. Rapscallion are not a trad band as such, their genre would be folk and ballad so they felt the urge to put their thoughts and feelings on the upcoming event into the words of a song.

They needed a catchy tune which would capture the fun and impending excitement of the Fleadh along with words and lyrics to showcase the history and mood of the town and also visually we needed images to carry the whole thing along. Jim provided the lyrics, the band then headed to Ventry recording studios ran by Dave McCune in North County Dublin one Saturday morning in late April slightly hungover with banjos, mandolins, guitars, whistles, bodhran and bass to record the song.

With this done the final part of the jigsaw was the video. This was expertly put together by local artist Vivienne Byrne who has produced a classic. The boys are delighted with the final package and how it has turned out.

The response on social media has been amazing nearly 4,000 hits in three days (probably because we posted it on the Drogheda life Facebook page on August 2!) 

Drogheda people are very proud of their town and the song and video have upped the pride remarkably. The song was first aired publically on the "Smidirini" Show hosted by Claire Regan on LMFM and then on Eddie Caffrey's world famous "Greenscene". It was also played live the first time at the "Music at The Old Abbey" event last Wednesday night which was brilliantly put together by local top man Eoghan Darcy. 

Jim McQuillan told Drogheda Life that Flaa'd Out in Drawda is dedicated to all the volunteers who took part in cleaning up the town for the upcoming event.

“We are really looking forward to the Fleadh and if you want to catch up with Rapscallion for a rip roaring evening of ballads, music, pints and fun you can see us at the following venues: 

  • The Fair Green Bar, Sunday 12th of August, 7PM
  • Grennan's "The Well" beer garden, Friday 17th of August, 7PM
  • Sharkey's Clogherhead, Saturday 18th of August, 10PM
  • O'Rallaigh's GAA Club, Sunday 19th of August, 7PM 

The band is available for weddings, christenings, funerals, parties and pubs and anywhere there is a hooley. They can be contacted at: or Rapscallion BalladBand on Facebook. 

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