1883 – Birth of songwriter, revolutionary and house-painter, Peadar Kearney, in Dublin; best known for writing the words of the Irish national anthem.

In 1907, Kearney wrote the lyrics to ‘The Soldier’s Song’. It was used as a marching song by the Irish Volunteers and was sung by rebels in the GPO during the 1916 Easter Rising. Its popularity increased among rebels held in Frongoch internment camp after the Rising, and the IRA in the Irish War of […]

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1959 – Birth of musician, Gavin Friday, in Dublin.

Birth of Gavin Friday (born Fionán Martin Hanvey) in Dublin. He is a singer and songwriter, composer, actor and painter and founder of post-punk band The Virgin Prunes. Friday was born in Dublin and grew up in Ballygall a neighbourhood located on Dublin’s Northside located between Finglas and Glasnevin where he went to school. When […]

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1971 – Death of Seán Ó Riada, founder, composer, and arranger for the Chieftains.

A true Irish Gift to the world, Seán Ó Riada left the world at the terribly young age of 40. One of Ireland’s finest composers and a major influence on traditional Irish music, Seán Ó Riada (John Reidy) was born in West Cork in 1931. Ó Riada’s love of music came from parents who were […]

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1942 – Phil Coulter is born in Derry.

Coulter’s father, also called Phil, encouraged music in the house. He played the fiddle whilst his wife played the upright piano. The younger Coulter recalls this piano, made by Challen, as ‘the most important piece of furniture in the house. Coulter had written Free The People in anger following internment in Northern Ireland, when people […]

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1883 – Birth of Peadar Kearney, an Irish republican and composer of numerous rebel songs in Dublin.

In 1907 he wrote the lyrics to “The Soldier’s Song”; Liam Ó Rinn translated it to the Irish language, “Amhrán na bhFiann” in 1923, now the Irish national anthem. It was used as a marching song by the Irish Volunteers and was sung by rebels in the GPO during the 1916 Easter Rising. Its popularity […]

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1959 – Birth of musician Gavin Friday. He has co-written a number of songs with the U2 frontman, Bono, including the soundtrack to the Jim Sheridan movie “In the Name of the Father”.

Gavin Friday (born Fionán Martin Hanvey) is an Irish singer and songwriter, composer, actor and painter and founder of post-punk band The Virgin Prunes. Friday was born in Dublin and grew up in Ballygall a neighbourhood located on Dublin’s Northside located between Finglas and Glasnevin where he went to school. When he was fourteen years […]

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1738 – Irish harpist and composer, Turlough O’Carolan, dies at Alderford House, the home of his patron Máire MacDermott Roe, in Ballyfarnan, Co Roscommon.

Death of Irish harpist and composer Turlough O’Carolan. His wake lasted four days! At age 18, he was blinded by smallpox and took to playing the harp. O’Carolan travelled Ireland most of his life as a wandering minstrel and composer achieving a level of fame that was unusual for the time. At age fifty he […]

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