Muiris Ó Rócháin 1944–2011

Is méala mór do Thaisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann bás Mhuiris Uí Rócháin, stiúrthóir Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy i Sráid na Cathrach, Co an Chláir, agus ball de Bhord na Taisce.

Bhí Muiris ina chrann taca ag an Taisce ón uair a chéadbhunaíodh í, agus le breis is fiche bliain anuas chothaigh sé dlúthbhaint idir an Taisce agus Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, go háirithe maidir le taifeadtaí páirce a dhéanamh ag an Scoil. Mar thoradh ar sin, tá mór-chuid d’imeachtaí na Scoile thar na blianta caomhnaithe anois i bhfoirmeacha físe agus fuaime, agus is féidir le pobal an cheoil teacht orthu sa Taisce.

Saolaíodh Muiris sa Daingean i gCo Chiarraí. Ba Ghaeilgeoir ón gcliabhán é, agus i 2001 bhí sé mar uachtarán ar Oireachtas na Gaeilge. Páirteach óna óige i gcúrsaí ceoil, bhí sé ina chaptaen níos déanaí ar bhuíon an dreoilín ó Shráid Eoin sa Daingean. Bhí suim riamh aige leis sa bhéaloideas, agus  bhailigh sé scéalta i gCiarraí do Roinn Bhéaloideas Éireann i gColáiste na hOllscoile Bhaile Átha Cliath. Chaith sé an chuid is mó dá shaol proifisiúnta mar mheánmhúinteoir i Roinn na Spáinneach i ngar do Shráid na Cathrach. Bhí sé ina chara mór ansin ag an gceoltóir cáiliúil traidisiúnta Willie Clancy, agus nuair a fuair Willie bás i 1973 bhí Muiris chun tosaigh sa dream a bhunaigh scoil bhliantúil don cheol traidisiúnta mar chuimhneachán air. Tríd an díograis a chaith Muiris leis an bhfiontar, tríd an gcomhoibriú fáilteach oscailte a chleactaigh sé i gcónaí,  agus tríd an ngréasán ollmhór de chairde a bhí aige sa cheol, tá Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy tar éis fás as cuimse ó shin i leith. Tá na sluaite ag freastal ar na ranganna agus na himeachtaí eile ceoil ansin le daichead bliain anuas, agus tá cáil domhanda tuillte ag an Scoil féin.

Déanann Bord agus foireann Taisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann comhbhrón ó chroí le Úna Uí Rócháin, céile Mhuiris, lena iníon Máire agus lena mhac Séamus, agus lena chomhghleacaithe sa Scoil.


The Irish Traditional Music Archive greatly regrets the recent death of Muiris Ó Rócháin, director of the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, and a Board member of the Archive. Muiris was a constant supporter of the Archive since its foundation, and for more than twenty years he promoted a close relationship between it and the Summer School, especially in the area of the Archive's field-recording activities. As a result many of the School's music activities over the years have been preserved in video and audio recordings and are available to the public through the Archive.

Muiris was born in Dingle, Co Kerry. He spoke Irish from childhood, and in 2001 served as president of Oireachtas na Gaeilge. He had a life-long interest in traditional music, and was for many years captain of the John Street wrenboys in Dingle. He also had a keen interest in folklore and collected stories in Kerry for the Department of Irish Folklore in University College Dublin. Most of his professional life was spent as a secondary teacher in Spanish Point near Miltown Malbay. He became friendly there with the famous traditional musician Willie Clancy, and when Willie died in 1973 Muiris was a leading member of the group that established an annual summer school for Irish traditional music as a memorial to him. Through Muiris's commitment to the venture, his welcoming and open cooperation with others, and his enormous network of friends in traditional music, the Willie Clancy Summer School has grown beyond all expectation since its foundation. For some forty years thousands have attended the School's classes and other musical events, and the School itself has earned an international reputation.

The Board and the staff of the Irish Traditional Music Archive extend their sincere sympathy to Muiris's wife Úna, to his daughter Máire and son Séamus, and to his colleagues in the Willie Clancy Summer School.