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Black and white photo of Kathleen Harrington playing the fiddle

Kathleen Harrington (1897–1984) #IWD2022

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, Mick O’Connor pays tribute to the role of Sligo fiddle player Kathleen Harrington, née Gardiner, in promoting Irish traditional music during her lifetime.

“As a mark of respect, particularly on International Women’s Day, I would like to give an outline of Mrs. Kathleen Harrington’s role in promoting Irish traditional music during her lifetime,”

Mick O'Connor, 2022
Top from left: Kathleen Harrington, Bridie Lafferty; Tilly Finn; Elizabeth Crotty Bottom left: Aggie Whyte, Bridie Whyte

Music in the glen, reel ; Longford collector, reel / Harrington Trio, instrumental music

Kincora Céilí Band

Jackson’s reel ; Johnny’s wedding, reel ; Hunter’s purse, reel / Kincora Céilí Band, instrumental music

The Siamsa Céilí Band, c. 1965

“Mrs. Harrington was a very important female musician at a time when very few women were prominent and visible among the musical fraternity.”

Mick O'Connor, 2022
Kathleen Harrington and Bridie Lafferty. Image courtesy Mick O'Connor

Bonnie Kate, reel ; The boys of the lough, reel / Kathleen Harrington, fiddle