BALLYMURPHY man Sean Hillen is planning on breaking the world record for the largest number of fiddle players gathered in one place when 1,000 musicians gather for an event that he has organised in Gweedore, Donegal over the New Year.
Mr Hillen, who now lives in the village of Bun na Leaca in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht, said that the event is expected to be one of the most historic single cultural events ever to take place in Donegal and that it is likely to attract a very large audience.
“Working with Jim Pattison and his staff at the Jim Pattison Group on developing the idea for a world record breaking attempt has been an encouraging and uplifting experience,” said Sean, who was an aspiring journalist with the Andersonstown News back in the '70s. 
“I believe a musical event of such magnitude will place an immense international spotlight on this small corner of the world – the Donegal Gaeltacht which happens to be my home, and will highlight the rich vein of traditional arts and culture alive and well that has survived down through the generations.”
He added: “It is hoped that such an event, which should attract widespread media coverage around Europe and the US, will do much to persuade the large numbers of national and international visitors who come to Ireland every year to add Donegal to their itinerary, thus helping provide added business for local cafes, hotels, restaurants and bars. This, in turn, will provide employment for local people and keep Irish-speakers living at home and curb the emigrant flow away to find jobs in other parts of Ireland and abroad.  
“Donegal and particularly the western coast has long been an economically marginalised region of Ireland but its beautiful seascapes and landscapes along the famous ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ makes it a perfect location to launch such a memorable World record breaking musical event.”  

The Guinness world record breaking event will be held over the New Year celebrations when a special traditional music festival-cum-music-classes initiative, formerly called Scoil Gheimhridh Frankie Kennedy (Frankie Kennedy Winter School) now co-ordinated by local community centre, An Chrannog, in Bunbeg takes place.