The Uilleann Pipes

The importance of piping during the years of the Irish chieftains is evident in the 9th century representation of a piper on the great stone High Cross of Clanmacnoise in Co Offaly. This seat of Irish culture in Clanmacnoise fostered the great ancient school there which at its height involved six to seven thousand students. […]

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#OTD in 1798 – Execution of John Kelly, also known as ‘Kelly of Killane’.

John Kelly lived in Killanne in the parish of Rathnure and was a leader who fought in the United Irishmen Rebellion of 1798. While Kelly was obviously well-known to rebels and loyalists alike during the short duration of the Wexford rising, almost nothing is known of him outside this time. He was one of the […]

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#OTD in 1957 – Birth of singer, songwriter and guitarist, Philip Chevron, in Dublin.

Philip Chevron was most widely known as guitarist for the Shane MacGowan led punk/folk rock band, The Pogues. He grew up in Santry, a suburb of Dublin. He was regarded as one of the most influential figures in Irish punk music. His most evocative Pogues work is ‘Thousands are Sailing’ which he wrote shortly after […]

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#OTD in 1939 – Birth of musician and composer, John Sheahan, who was a member of the The Dubliners.

John Sheahan was the quiet one in The Dubliners. In that cast of beardy and hairy rogues and rascals, Sheahan stood out by not standing out. Brought in to stand shoulder to shoulder with founder members Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew, Barney McKenna and Ciarán Bourke, Sheahan’s playing brought a touch of elegant class to that […]

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#OTD in 1961 – Enya (Eithne Ní Bhraonáin) is born in Gweedore, Co Donegal.

Enya began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad before leaving to perform solo. Enya is a four-time Grammy Award-winning singer, an Academy Award-nominated songwriter, and Ireland’s best-selling solo artist (her record sales stand at 80 million as of 2009). As a musical group, Enya is a collaboration between […]

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#OTD in 1945 – Birth of folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Christy Moore in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Christy Moore is one of the founding members of Planxty and Moving Hearts. In 2007, he was named as Ireland’s greatest living musician in RTÉ’s People of the Year Awards. The former lead-vocalist and chief songwriter of Planxty and Moving Hearts, Moore helped to bring the musical traditions of Ireland up to modern standards and […]

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#OTD in 2012 – Death of Bernard Noël “Banjo Barney” McKenna.

Barney McKenna was the last surviving founding member of the Irish folk group the Dubliners. With Luke Kelly’s powerful voice and force of nature on stage, Ronnie Drew’s gravelly memorable vocal sound, it was McKenna’s playing of the tenor banjo, coupled with John Sheahan’s fiddle, that gave the Dubliners their original instrumental quality. In the […]

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#OTD in 2006 – Death of Proinsias Ó Maonaigh or Francie Mooney, a fiddler from Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair), Co Donegal.

Proinsias Ó Maonaigh or Francie Mooney was a fiddler from Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair), Co Donegal. He is known for his distinguished fiddle playing and his unique and vast contribution to Irish music and culture. He is the father of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (lead vocalist and cofounder of Irish folk music band Altan) and grandfather of […]

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#OTD in 2015 – Death of entertainer and folk musician, Jim McCann.

Jim McCann was an entertainer and folk musician. Although a solo artist for most of his career, McCann was a member of the folk group the Dubliners from 1974 until 1979. He rejoined the group in 2002 for their 40th anniversary album and last performed with them in 2012. It was on ‘The McCann Man’ […]

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