Paddy McDermott – Gradam Breifne Award
Paddy got his first instrument, a Tin Whistle for Christmas at a young age and this was the start of his journey with Traditional Irish Music. His father Tommy played the fiddle and started teaching him tunes.
In the early 70’s Fr. Tom McKiernan started a marching band in Cornafean and asked Paddy to teach the Tin whistle section. Paddy saw potential in some of the young musicians and decided to get a group together for a Fleadh Cheoil in 1978. This group got better and needed more challenging tunes which Tommy Curran of Killeshandra was only too happy to share. The Cornafean Group was in high demand playing at concerts, pub sessions, weddings, fleadhs and the Bard of Breffni. They joined up with the Cross Mullagh Wren Boys to supply music for their dancers, travelling the country with them and even appearing on RTE. The Group brought out 3 tapes, went on a trip to Vienna, 2 trips to Germany and had made a CD with the help of other musical friends they had made on the way.
The Shamrock bar deserves a special mention as it nurtured lots of musicians, especially families which are household names now in Cavan and further afield and Paddy would always be there encouraging the youth and passing on the tradition.
Nowadays Paddy enjoys a tune with the Kelly’s gang on a Thursday night in Killeshandra and Mary Brady’s in Ballinagh and passing tunes on to his grandchildren.
Paddy’s says the key to the whole success was that everyone was enjoying their music and he would like to thank anyone that helped on the way.
A wonderful night of Music, Song and Dance was had in MacSeains of Cornafean on Saturday January 25th 2020, with close to 50 musicians entertaining the crowd, many of whom had travelled from afar to be with Paddy on this fabulous occasion and to thank him for all his work throughout the years in promoting the Traditional Arts. Paddy’s love of music coupled with his dedication to promoting the Traditional Arts has enriched the greater Breifne region and ensured a bright future for traditional music, especially amongst the younger generations. We hope that this award goes some way to recognise our appreciation for his work throughout the years and we look forward to many more tune filled nights in his company.
Paddy McDermott being presented his award by James McGovern and Dermot Walsh
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