Danny Darcy (Mervue, Galway City to Tenerife, Spain)
Happily working as a musician in the sunny climes of Tenerife, Danny Darcy grew up in the Galway City suburb of Renmore. While he loves to get back to the City of the Tribes on a regular basis he has spotted some worrying trends in the place of his birth.
Name: Danny Darcy
Now living in: Tenerife, Spain
From: Mervue, Galway
Happily working as a musician in the sunny climes of Tenerife, Danny Darcy grew up in the Galway City suburb of Renmore. While he loves to get back to the City of the Tribes on a regular basis, he has spotted some worrying trends in the place of his birth.
I was born into a Mervue family with a proud Galway tradition. The D’arcy’s were one of the 14 ‘Tribe’ families, who helped to develop the city of Galway in medieval times, while the D’arcy name is also associated with the establishment of Clifden. My grandfather, Hyci Darcy, who worked on the buses since 1947, was a familiar figure to people around Galway city. He was also behind the formation of Mervue United in the 1960s in his house in McDonagh Avenue, Old Mervue, along with my uncle Tommy. On my mum’s side, my grandmother lived on Henry Street in the West End of Galway. She is buried up in the Rahoon cemetery next to Eamon De Valeras sister, who used to be a doctor up in Taylor’s Hill.
In our younger days, my five older brothers and I were always proud to march in the St. Patrick’s Brass Band. I went to school primary school in Renmore and then to secondary in ‘The Jez’. I have to say, I really enjoyed growing up in Galway and in particular learning to play music in my hometown. As I got older though, I found the lack of opportunity to perform to be frustrating. It sometimes felt as if you just has to be connected to the ‘right’ people. Like many of my Galway friends, we left the city to explore rather than be stuck in a rut and in 1995, I made a permanent move abroad when I was offered the opportunity of full time music work in Durty Nelly’s Bar in Santa Ponsa, Majorca. From there, I moved to Tenerife, which is now home and where I continue to work as a musician. As well as getting paid to follow my passion for music, the other big plus is the weather – definitely a huge life-changer! I would always consider myself to be a positive person and I’ve found from day one that working in a warm climate makes people more happy, expressive and easier to mix with.
Despite the pleasure of the weather here, there are things I miss about Ireland and Galway – Guinness, the GAA and other sports immediately spring to mind. I suppose I also miss the intimate gigs that pop up obscurely in Galway. Only recently when I was back, I caught the Ricky Ross (Deacon Blue) gig in the Roisin Dúbh… around 50 plus at the gig… terrific venue. People in Galway sometimes take our venues for granted. Living abroad, I obviously miss being close to my Mum. She has a lovely house in Roscam, and like the rest of the family, remains very Galway proud. I get home about 4 or 5 times a year and I usually bring her out for a meal in Park House. In terms of changes I’ve noticed around Galway, the increase in prices is certainly one thing. A normal 3-course meal with wine can add up to €220. I’m not complaining about paying for it, my dinner date is well worth it, but I feel sorry for any other ex-pats who may not be able to entertain their close family. As a city, I think we are being ripped off – drink, cigarettes, hotel prices, food, and parking are all becoming ridiculous now. In the broader sense though, I think that overpriced pubs, restaurants, etc. are killing the art of conversation and happiness in our city. I also think Galway needs to look at promoting its own talents. I was at the Galway Arts Festival last year and didn’t spot a local band during the two weeks of the event.
These issues aside, I’ll still continue to make the regular trips home, and despite the result, I was delighted to get back to Croke Park to support Galway for the 2014 hurling final. Looking at the weather outside though, Tenerife is most definitely home for now!