Cathal McConnell Tribute, 2009

Cathal McConnell Tribute, 2009

Now playing: Tribute to Cathal McConnell introduction, speech / Muiris Ó Rócháin, speech
  1. Tribute to Cathal McConnell introduction, speech / Muiris Ó Rócháin, speech
  2. Introduction, speech ; Untitled, jig / Cathal McConnell, flute, & others
  3. Untitled, reel / Cathal McConnell, flute, & P. Flanangan, dancing
  4. James Hanley’s reel / Cathal McConnell, flute
  5. Dickie Gossip, reel ; The high road to Linton, reel / Cathal McConnell, flute, & others
  6. Top of the hill, jig ; Katie’s lilt, jig / Cathal McConnell, flute, & others
  7. Erin the green, song / Cathal McConnell, singer, & others
  8. Maggie from Ballybofey, song / Rosie Stewart, singer
  9. The white cockade, song / Cathal McConnell, singer, & others
  10. Tribute to Cathal McConnell, speech / Mick O’Connor, speech
  11. Big John’s, reel ; McHugh’s, reel ; The Strokestown reel / Cathal McConnell, flute, & others
  12. Lady Anne Montgomery, reel ; The Noone lasses, reel / Cathal McConnell, flute, & others

Cathal McConnell Tribute, 2009

Cathal McConnell, flute player, whistle player and singer, was born in Bellanaleck, Co Fermanagh, in 1944, and has been immersed in traditional music all his life. He is from a musical family, being a fourth-generation flute player. His father Sandy, a well known traditional singer and musician, recorded for the BBC in the 1950s. An All-Ireland champion on whistle and flute at 18, Cathal has been a virtuoso professional musician for over thirty years, constantly touring the world since 1967 with the Edinburgh-based traditional group The Boys of the Lough, of which he was a founder-member with Robin Morton and Tommy Gunn. Having absorbed the music and song of his native region from musicians and singers such as Big John McManus, John Joe Maguire, Eddie Duffy and Mick Hoy, Cathal has spread a knowledge and awareness of this local repertory widely through his own performances, and has added items from it to the national repertory.

Cathal McConnell has lived in Edinburgh for many years and consequently is not as well known or as frequently heard in Ireland as he should be, but for some years past he has been involved in teaching and performing at the annual Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, Co Clare. In 2009 the School decided to honour his contribution to Irish traditional music in a special occasion on 7 July which formed part of its afternoon programme of events. Organised by friends and fellow musicians, colleagues and admirers, the tribute reflected many facets of Cathal’s music and personality. Some of the historical recordings used in the tribute had been donated to the Irish Traditional Music Archive by his late sister Maura McConnell.

The occasion was recorded by ITMA staff members Danny Diamond, Mícheál Ó Catháin, & Joan McDermott. The audio tracks presented here are a representative selection from the event, which ran for over two hours. 

With thanks to Cathal McConnell; Cormac, Micky & Sean McConnell; Maura McConnell, Muiris Ó Rócháin and the Willie Clancy Summer School, Cyril Maguire and the group of Fermanagh and other musicians listed above, Len Graham of Antrim, Mick O’Connor of Dublin, & Gerry O’Connor of Dundalk.

For further information see

NC & DD, 1 February 2010