Honored June 8, 2019
I grew up a musical village in North Kerry called Lixnaw. My father played the accordion so there was always a tune in the house and in neighboring sessions. I was part of a large contingent of young players because music, singing and dancing was extremely prevalent in the parish under the leadership of Diarmaid O’ Cathain. The under 12 ceili band needed a flute player so I was given my first flute….a plastic pipe with no keys. I remember spending the first day trying to make a sound and thinking it was broken until I finally mastered it. I played with various shows and groups all over Ireland and Britain while in school, including the Pan Celtic Festival in Cornwall, the Eisteddfod competition in Wales, the Rose of Tralee, and the Marching Band would play at GAA matches. In college I was Treasurer and President of the Traditional Music Society. I came to New York in 1994 and began playing with Dessie Groarke and John Redmond at An Beal Bocht. Since then I have been privileged to play with the most outstanding musicians in New York. I have seen much of America and Canada because of the great passport that music provides.