Back to the disco days

Take a trip down memory lane next Friday at Christy Maye’s ‘Disc A Go Go’ charity night in aid of the North Westmeath Hospice and Fr Liam Hayes’ Argentinean orphanage.

The event, which takes place next Friday March 27 in the Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar, promises to take you back to the original disco days, with slow sets, fast sets, projector lights, fashion bulbs, and ladies’ choice. There will also be a 60s/70s best dressed competition, as well as an auction and raffle on the night.

Guest DJs from the 60s, 70s and 80s will provide the music, with Christy Maye’s ‘Disc A Go Go’ the star attraction on the night.

Christy set up the first ever discotheque in Ireland many moons ago, and explains; “It all started in 1963 in Mullingar Parochial Hall. Showbands were the rage at the time and my idea initially was to hold Disc A Go Go during the interval. We had no amplifier and no speaker to hold the necessary volume, so we built our own cabinet of speakers.”

Christy’s ‘Disc A Go Go’ gave rise to ‘disco’ music and disc jockeys all over the country within a few years, and he was the first in Ireland or Britain with the idea of disco roadshow.

Among those involved in the early days were his brother Johnny as road manager, Vincent Gaffney, Dick O’Brien as manager, Joe Bardon, Paddy Rhattigan, Brendan Walsh, Matty Mulligan as audio engineer, and the late Paddy Fagan, to name but a few.

By modern standards the twin turntables and the rest of the equipment were primitive, but at the time it was completely new, creating a fabulous atmosphere for dancing. He used projectors to create special effects in the venues, experimenting to get the ‘starry sky’ and other ‘psychedelic’ effects.

The proprietor of the Lake County, Mullingar, Paddy Fagan, asked Christy to hold ‘Disc A Go Go’ in his hotel. Christy recalls, “On the first night, 70 or 80 people were there. After that the crowds just got bigger and bigger. He built a bigger ballroom and after a while built an even bigger one!”

Christy is now proprietor of Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar and recently sold the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore.

All proceeds from Christy Maye’s ‘Disc A Go Go’ charity night will go to the North Westmeath Hospice and Fr Liam Hayes’ St Teresa’s Foundation, a centre for disabled people in the remote Misiones province in Argentina.

Tickets, priced €20, are available from the Greville Arms Hotel and from Duffy Financial, Castle Street.

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