Paddy Berry

Paddy was born in the Barony of Forth near Rosslare, Co. Wexford, sometime in the last century. He is a renowned singer and song collector and lifelong member of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, and a member of the Wexford Singing Circle since its inception. He won the All-Ireland Senior Ballad Competition in 1970 and again in 1976, as well as becoming the senior All-Ireland Whistling Champion in 1975. Paddy has appeared on RTE 1 television traditional music programmes from 1963 to recent times. Paddy has published two collections of ballads entitled ‘Wexford Ballads’ (1982) and ‘More Wexford Ballads’ (1984), and has more recently published a book of short stories entitled ‘No doubt about it’ (2014). He has also recorded two albums of traditional ballads; ‘Sing us a Song Paddy’ (2000), ‘Sing again Paddy’ (2001) and also features on the album ‘The Cuckoos Note’, an album by Whisht, a group of traditional singers from Wexford.



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John Tunney 

John grew up in Donegal, the youngest in a family of six, and in a house filled with song and music. He sang from childhood but began taking it seriously in his teenage years. The first event at which he performed was Féile na Bóinne, Drogheda in 1977. He has sung at festivals and taught workshops all over Ireland since then. John has appeared on television, radio, and on half a dozen CDs. He has composed many songs, in a variety of styles, though his preference is for the traditional genre. He has previously taken part in the ‘As I Roved Out’ and ‘Man, Woman and Child’ projects, which were devised and co-ordinated by Aileen Lambert and Michael Fortune. He currently lectures in Heritage Studies, including Irish Music and Song, at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and is working on a biography of his father Paddy Tunney, ‘The Man of Songs’. Since 2000 he has lived in Clare with his wife Mary. They have one son, Conall, who is also a singer. 



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Larry Joy

Larry is a native of Emly, Co Tipperary. Now retired, he taught for many years in the local secondary school in Hospital, Co. Limerick. Larry has been involved in singing in various forms through the years; groups, choirs, musical-societies, and eventually the traditional genre. He is a regular contributor at festivals and traditional singing events throughout Ireland. He has previously worked with Michael and Aileen on the ‘As I Roved Out’ project, a themed traditional song composition project in association with the NLI and supported by the Arts Council. His own compositions have won acclaim at county and provincial level and he has been awarded the Garry McMahon Award for Newly-Composed ballads.



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Sandra Joyce

Sandra Joyce is a traditional singer from Co. Galway, now living in Co. Limerick.  She is interested in the diverse practices of Irish traditional song, and particularly in English language repertoire. Her research interests include traditional song pedagogy, the transformation of traditional song in different cultural contexts and the singing traditions of the Irish travellers. Recent performances include the Klangfestival Naturstimmen Festival, Toggenburg, Switzerland (June 2014) and the closing concert for the Limerick City of Culture, Phoenix Rising: The Music of Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin (December 2014).  Sandra works at the University of Limerick.



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Fergus Russell

Fergus Russell is from Dublin and learned to sing at his mother's knee. A stalwart of An Góilín Traditional Singers’ Club and one of the organisers of the annual Frank Harte Festival, Fergus has a passion for collecting and reviving long forgotten traditional songs. When he finds a song that interests him, Fergus will try to track down the original air, but if that proves futile he will write a new air to suit. Some of these songs have proved popular and are being reabsorbed back into the tradition. In an endeavour to bring them to a wider audience Fergus has recently released ‘Landless & Free’ a CD comprising fifteen traditional songs not previously recorded. A welcome guest at singing circles and clubs at home and abroad Fergus has recently returned from a tour of Australia where he entertained audiences at venues in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. 



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Jerry O’Reilly

Jerry O’Reilly is a noted singer and is one of the organisers of the Góilín Traditional Singers’ Club in Dublin, which is reckoned to be the foremost singing club in Ireland and which has been running for over 32 years. He has acted as M.C. / Fear ‘a Ti at all of the major singing festivals in Ireland in recent years. In 2003 he released his first solo CD called ‘Down from your pulpits, Down from your Thrones’, which has been enthusiastically received. His second album, ‘Havoc in Heaven’ was launched in early 2012 and has been described by The Irish Times as ‘a strapping collection which will fuel repertoires from Stonybatter to Sneem’.  His latest project was the re-mastering and reissue of ‘Early Ballads in Ireland’, the 1985 cassette of Child ballads by Tom Munnelly and Hugh Shields which was launched in late 2015. 


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Rosie Ní Ghallóglaigh

Originally hailing from Kilberry, Co. Meath, Róisín (Rosie) Ní Ghallóglaigh is a singer and researcher of Irish traditional song. She is currently completed a PhD on metaphor, symbol and erotic expression in Irish traditional song at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick under the supervision of Dr. Sandra Joyce. During her undergraduate studies in Irish Music and Dance she specialised in Irish traditional song under the expertise of Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Eilís Ní Shúilleabháin. Róisín’s research is informed by her considerable experience as a performing traditional singer and her engagement with archival and field research into Irish and English language repertoires. Since 2011, Róisín has tutored and lectured in traditional song studies, song composition and harmony singing at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.


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Paul O Reilly

An award winning Irish traditional singer, writer, lilter, and musician, Paul O’Reilly has produced and recorded on several albums, while also appearing on national radio, TV and with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. His 2009 production of Wexford songs with guests Helen Kirwan and Paddy Berry, ‘The Poet’s Dream’, has been recognized as “a vital part of Wexford’s musical tradition”. His 2012 documentary, ‘Paddy Berry: The Singer, the Song and the Place’, was described as “a beautiful, considered and expressive film that goes a long way to showing what a wonderful man Paddy Berry is and how magical the songs and lore are of which he is not only a conduit, but a champion”. As a writer, Paul has had a collection of short stories published to wide acclaim, has had a play and short film produced, and like his other writings Paul’s songs are often shaped around strong, emotional stories.


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Aileen Lambert

Aileen’s singing is rooted in the English language repertoire of her native County Wexford, where she regularly works with communities of all shapes and sizes, sharing her love and enthusiasm of traditional song, while undertaking field research in parallel. These projects include ‘The Wexford Song Project’, supported by Wexford County Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme, and ‘At The Foot of Mount Leinster’, supported by a Deis Award from the Arts Council. Aileen also delivers traditional song workshops in primary schools with infants up to sixth class as part of the Heritage-in-Schools Scheme. She has appeared as a guest at singing festivals and clubs, including the 2015 Frank Harte Festival. In recent years Aileen has developed a practice, with her partner Michael Fortune, of devising and facilitating traditional song projects, from themed concerts to song composition projects, with a wealth of fine traditional singers from across the country.





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