Tutors / Classes

Saturday – 12th October


In conjunction with Éamonn Ó Múirí C.C.E.

Registration 10am – 11am
Classes – 11am – 3pm
Lunch 1pm-1:30pm
Tutor Recital – 3:30pm


Tutor Biographies

Donal O’Connor (fiddle)

Son of the celebrated fiddler Gerry O’Connor (Skylark, Kinvara) and renowned singer Eithne Ní Uallacháin (Lá Lugh), Dónal O’Connor has inherited a great musical legacy of at least five generations of fiddle playing. Regarded as “one of the outstanding players of his generation” by J.B. Vallely, recent collaborations have included tours with Lúnasa, Guidewires, Buille and Cathal McConnell, television performances with The West Ocean String Quartet and the legendary Sligo Flute player Séamus Tansey, recording with Brian Kennedy and Moya Brennan of Clannad and festival appearances with Liam Ó Maonlaí and the Steve Cooney Big Band.

Sorcha Costello (fiddle)

Fiddle player Sorcha Costello from Tulla, Co. Clare is the daughter of Mary MacNamara and hails from a family emerged in traditional Irish music. Sorcha is in great demand as a teacher of music in east Clare because of her ability to transmit her unique style which has the trademark rhythm and swing qualities of generations of her family. She focuses on getting the musicians to bring these out by playing from the heart.

Len Graham (singing)

County Antrim born, Len Graham has been a full-time professional traditional singer since 1982. From the early 1960s Len sought out and recorded older singers such as Eddie Butcher and Joe Holmes. His musical friendship with Joe Holmes resulted in two albums being recorded, Chaste Muses, Bards and Sages (1975) and After Dawning (1978). Len’s first solo album Wind and Water (1976) was followed by Do Me Justice (1983) and Ye Lovers All (1985). As a founder member of the group Skylark in 1986 he toured extensively for ten years. In 1993 he released his book and field recording collection It’s of My Rambles… and also that year he recorded an album with Cathal McConnell For the Sake of Old Decency. In 1996 When I Was Young an album of songs for children with Pádraigin Ni Uallacháin and Garry Ó Briain was released.
Over the years, Len has collaborated and worked with numerous musicians, poets and storytellers. His association with the late John Campbell brought storytelling and song to a world audience. Their work together over twenty years made a significant contribution toward creating a deeper cross-community understanding of shared cultural traditions during many years of conflict in the north of Ireland. Together they recorded two albums Ebb and Flow (1998) and Two for the Road (2001). Len and John can be heard singing together on these tracks from the Góíilín Song Project. Len’s latest solo albums are In Full Flight (2008) and Over the Hills and Far Away (2010). His book Here I Am Amongst You on the songs, dance music and traditions of Joe Holmes (1906-1978) was published by Four Courts Press in 2010.
Len Graham has performed at numerous Irish and international folk, literary and storytelling festivals, as well as appearing on many radio and television programmes. In 1992 he received the Seán O’Boyle Cultural Traditions Award in recognition of his work in Ireland as a song collector and singer. In 2002 he was honoured as the first recipient of the Irish television TG4 National Music Award for ‘Traditional Singer of the Year’. In 2008 he was awarded ‘Keeper of the Tradition’ from the Tommy Makem Festival of Traditional Song and the US Irish Music Award in the sean-nós singing category. In 2011 Len was awarded the Gradam na mBard CCÉ (CCÉ Bardic Award) at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

Martin Meehan (flute) 

Martin Meehan, born 1977 hails from Manchester. Both Angela Durkan and Michael McGoldrick taught him as a young child and had a profound effect on his future development as a musician. Martin moved from Manchester to County Armagh in 1988 and his flute playing was sculpted by the tuition of the late Peg Needham. His music at this early stage became further enhanced by an eclectic bunch of players such as Brian Finnegan and Niall Vallely, who are renowned for pushing the boundaries in Irish traditional music with their progressive approach. This was an exciting time for traditional music in Armagh and Martin was at the heart of it! He has a Master’s Degree in music from Queeen’s University Belfast and has performed all over the world both in a solo and group capacity, appearing on radio and television. He has featured in a myriad of festivals. Acts he has collaborated with are; Liam Ó Maonlaí, Arty McGlynn, Seamie O’Dowd, Dónal O’Connor, Bothy Band Tribute Band, Future Trad Collective, North Cregg, Tim Edey and Bríd Harper.
Martin’s long awaited second album delivers energy and melodic revelry in a well weighted Northern musical punch, as Martin creates a poignant yet thrilling journey for the listener. Featuring solid earthy timbre, multi-layering and blending of flutes, the album reveals Martin’s outstanding musicality and uniqueness.

Helen Lawlor (harp)

Helen Lawlor is a musician and academic, specialising in Irish harping. She lectures in music at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Helen holds a Bachelor in Music Education (TCD), Masters in Musicology (UCD) and PhD in Music, for which she was awarded an Ad Astra Research Scholarship.
Helen is co-editor with Sandra Joyce of ‘Harp Studies, Perspectives on the Irish Harp’ (Four Courts Press, 2016). In 2012 Helen published her research on the harp tradition in a monograph entitled ‘Irish Harping 1900-2010’ (Four Courts Press). Helen has also contributed articles to the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, Ancestral Imprints and Sonus. While a doctoral student at UCD she co-edited Issue 3 of The Musicology Review. She has given guest lectures at Harvard University, the New England Conservatory, the American Irish Historical Society and the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, Boston College, New York University and the Irish Arts Centre, New York.
Helen has performed and taught traditional Irish harping at numerous international music festivals including the Interceltic Festival (Lorient), Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, Blas and The Gaelic Roots festival in Boston.

Tommy Fitzharris (concertina)

Multi-instrumentalist Tommy Fitzharris, hails from Stradbally, Co Laois, and has been playing traditional Irish Music since the age of seven. He comes from a musical family and is self-taught on the flute, concertina and whistle.
Tommy made a first ever for his county in 2009 when he won the Senior Concertina Title in the All-Ireland Fleadh. In 2012, he then triumphed in the All Ireland Senior Flute Competition winning it also at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Cavan.
Tommy has been a tutor on the BA in Irish Music and Dance and on the MA in Traditional Irish Music Performance in the University of Limerick from 2009 to present. In addition, he is in constant demand as a tutor and performer on the traditional Irish music festival scene and continues to give workshops and concerts at various traditional music festivals nationally and internationally. Tommy has toured Europe, the United States and Asia extensively with the band Ciorras who were formed as part of the Lorg Lunny programme on TG4. He has featured on the Fleadh programmes, BBC Alba and its annual coverage of the famous Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, Beijing TV, Geantraí, Ceilí House and The Tubridy Show. He has performed in some the worlds most prestigious music venues including The Forbidden City Concert Hall Beijing, The National Concert Hall in Dublin and the Munich Philharmonic Concert Hall to name but a few. Tommy holds an MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance and a Grad Dip in Music Education, attained from The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.

Paul Meehan (banjo)

Paul Meehan has performed and toured with Lunasa, At First Light, Liz Carroll, Karan Casey, Micheal McGoldrick, North Cregg and much more.
‘Paul Meehan’s album ‘The Lower Road’ features fluent guitar and banjo work, a brilliant musician with great tunes. Recommended even to those who think they hate the banjo! It’s simply a great album’ – Mike McGoldrick
Paul has emerged from the shadows, to release his eagerly awaited debut album “The Lower Road”. This immensely talented multi instrumentalist takes centre stage, playing Banjo and Guitar on this beautifully crafted, fresh and energetic, yet solidly traditional album.
Born in Manchester, Paul was introduced to the guitar and banjo at the tender age of 8. Schooled by traditional music ‘guru’ Peter Carberry and by renowned teacher Angela Durkin, his playing flourished in the company of contemporaries such as Mike McGoldrick, Dezi Donnelly & John Joe Kelly. It’s no coincidence therefore that his musicianship is so highly regarded by his peers. Returning to Armagh in his teens he quickly established himself on the local music scene, counting Arty Mc Glynn and Cathal Hayden, Stockton’s Wing & Mairtín O’Connor amongst his major influences. Playing music professionally since the late 1990’s, Paul has variously been a founding member of North Cregg, The Karan Casey Band, Na Dorsa & Buille. He recorded 2 albums and toured for 7 years with, arguably, Ireland’s leading traditional group Lúnasa. He has performed and recorded with the legendary American fiddler Liz Carroll and collaborated with international touring acts such as Altan, Natalie Merchant, Paddy Keenan, At First Light, Tommy Peoples, John Carty, Tejador and Brian Finnegan of Flook to name but a few.

Fiachna Ó Mongáin

From Dumha Thuama in the Erris Gaeltacht in County Mayo, Fiachna Ó Mongáin is influenced by the music of local Erris musicians as well as accordion greats Joe Cooley and Tony MacMahon. Fiachna is a recipient of the Gradam Ceoil Young Musician of the Year award and has achieved numerous successes in the button accordion competition in Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. He has featured on a number of recordings, including the “Tunes in the Church” compilation and most recently, “Amhráin Iorrais,” a project which his parents Seamus and Síle Uí Mhongáin undertook to unearth sean-nós songs and airs of the Erris Gaeltacht which had been collected in Chicago in the early part of the last century. Fiachna has performed Irish music throughout Ireland and Europe and has featured on radio and television programs, including a solo performance on “Céilí House from the National Concert Hall,” and “Céarbh É,” a television documentary on Joe Cooley presented by Tony MacMahon. He also presented an episode of Geantraí from his native Dumha Thuama for the national broadcaster TG4.