Mick Hand

ITMA is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dublin flute, whistle and piano player Mick Hand.

Mick Hand

Mick was born into a musical family – his grandfather Michael Devine was a noted fiddle and flute player from Casltepollard, Co Westmeath. Having started on the whistle as a teenager, Mick began to frequent John Egan’s Church St Club and the Pipers Club in Thomas St and was a regular attendee at the Oireachtas and Fleadhanna Ceoil competitions.

After turning to the flute he was greatly influenced by the playing of Dessie O’Connor.

He married Noreen Mee in 1969 and the couple emigrated to Australia before returning to Ireland with their young family – Michael John, Eamonn and Maureen in 1978. Mick became a regular player at John Kelly’s memorable weekly session in the Four Seasons pub.

He teamed up with John Kelly Jnr, John McEvoy, Daithí Sproule and Mick Gavin to form the band Kelp. He also began playing regularly with the late Seán Potts in the early 1980s and they performed and recorded together for several years in the band Bakerswell along with Kevin Glackin, Noreen O’Donoghue, Seán Óg Potts, John McEvoy and John Kelly. He released the acclaimed duet flute album – All You need is Láimh – with Eileen Hasset in 2013.

A teacher and co-ordinator at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, the School paid a special tribute to Mick in 2016 noting the significant legacy he left to Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and the flute classes. A noted piano accompanist and set dancer – he also played with the Castle Céilí Band – Mick was deeply influenced by the music and traditions of West Clare.

Kelp, 1980s

The band Kelp [Mick Gavin, flute ; Mick Hand, flute ; John Kelly, fiddle ; John McEvoy, fiddle ; Daithí Sproule, guitar], Four Seasons Pub, Capel Street, Dublin, early 1980s. From the Mick O'Connor Collection.