HomeShoppingDerry musician’s handmade bodhrán features in bittersweet episode of The Repair Shop

Derry musician’s handmade bodhrán features in bittersweet episode of The Repair Shop

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The restoration of Derry musician Seamus McGuinness’s handmade bodhrán has featured in a bittersweet episode of BBC1 series The Repair Shop.

Seamus, who died from cancer in March 2016, made the instrument from his father’s garden sieve.

Following his death, the bodhrán which his family believed had been lost, was returned to them in a dilapidated state.

Speaking to The Irish News, Seamus’s sister Catherine said the bodhrán was falling apart. The skin was completely torn, and the original garden sieve ring was tarnished and worn.



“The bodhrán is a special reminder of a talented brother with a passion to entertain others,” said Catherine.

Catherine took the bodhrán across to the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Singleton, West Sussex, where The Repair Shop is filmed, last September.

Catherine Bradley with the bodhrán made by her brother Seamus McGuinness before its restoration by The Repair Shop's instrument expert, Pete Woods.
Catherine Bradley with the bodhrán made by her brother Seamus McGuinness before its restoration by The Repair Shop.

She and her father, Jackie, who died in March this year, travelled back to England together for the ‘reveal’ last October, when Catherine said they had “the best day ever”.

Their mother Rita died in January 2023.

“Mum and dad were always great watchers of The Repair Shop. Mum used to say to dad, because of the age they were, ‘We must have something up in that attic that we could take on to get repaired’.

“My brother Seamus, who passed away, was a fantastic musician. He could have played anything. When his bodhrán come back to us after 35 years, mum and dad were very upset because it didn’t represent Seamus and his free spiritedness and musicality.

Seamus' dad, Jackie, enjoying the craic with The Repair Shop presenter, Jay Blades, following the reveal of the repaired bodhrán.
Seamus’s father Jackie with The Repair Shop presenter Jay Blades, following the reveal of the repaired bodhrán.

“So, I was lying in my bed one night and I thought to myself, ‘I am going to get Seamus’s bodhrán restored on The Repair Shop. I emailed them and said I had something which was not of great financial worth but was of tremendous sentimental value,” she said.

Catherine said The Repair Shop episode was done for her parents and Seamus.

“Instrument expert Pete Woods did a fantastic job,” she added.

“The three of them are no longer with us. Daddy was so excited and so proud to be on The Repair Shop and Seamus is now playing to his biggest audience. He just loved life so much and the bodhrán and music just represented him so well”

::The Repair Shop aired on Wednesday at 8.00pm. It is now available to watch on the iPlayer.

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