Special Contribution Award | 2017 Awards | Gradam Ceoil TG4 | Programmes | TG4 | Súil Eile Skip to main content

2017 Awards

Special Contribution Award

A flute player from the Liberties area of Dublin, this man has been a pivotal figure in Irish music in Dublin and beyond for over fifty years. As a collector, archivist, teacher and musician, he has enriched the lives of many through his work with organisations such as Na Píobairí Uilleann, the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and the Willie Clancy Summer School.

Mick O’Connor

Citation

A flute player from the Liberties area of Dublin, this man has been a pivotal figure in Irish music in Dublin and beyond for over fifty years. As a collector, archivist, teacher and musician, he has enriched the lives of many through his work with organisations such as Na Píobairí Uilleann, the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and the Willie Clancy Summer School.
 

As a researcher, he has travelled the country recording, photographing and interviewing Ireland’s finest musicians. He is currently putting the finishing touches to a highly-anticipated book detailing the history of Irish traditional music in Dublin, which he started over 30 years ago.
 

His enthusiasm for, and generosity with his music is infectious. This is evidenced by his family who all play music to a high standard, and by the numerous younger musicians seeking a greater knowledge and understanding of Irish traditional music, to whom he has been a guide and inspiration. A worthy recipient of this award, this year’s TG4 Gradam Comaoine goes to MICK O’CONNOR
 

Biog

Mick O’Connor is a highly respected flute player from the Liberties area of Dublin who has been pivotal figure in the traditional music scene in the capital city of over fifty years.
His native area had a rich piping tradition with well-known families like the Potts and others at the forefront. Collector and scholar Breandán Breathnach was another from that locality whose work did much to preserve and promote the music.
 

His neighbourhood provided the young Mick with lots of opportunities to meet and learn the music and to get to know those who carried the tradition like John Egan, the Sligo flute-player from whom he learned so much. Mick’s interest always went beyond learning the tunes and he has had a life-long curiosity about the music, the musicians, the stories behind the tunes and those who performed them.
 

A long-time member of The Pipers’ Club, he was a member of that organisation’s band and performed with the Fintan Lalor Pipe Band. He is also a stalwart of The Castle Céilí Band whose status is legendary.
 

As a researcher, he has travelled the country recording, photographing and interviewing Ireland’s finest musicians. He is currently putting the finishing touches to a highly-anticipated book detailing the history of Irish traditional music in Dublin, which he started over 30 years ago. He has assisted the work of Comhaltas, the Scoil Éigse and of the Irish Folk Music Archive. He is a regular at the Willie Clancy Summer School each July in Milltown Malbay.
 

His enthusiasm for the music is infectious and his many talents – as photographer, recordist, designer and publisher have been put to good use in the many projects in which he’s been engaged. These include the magisterial albums Seoda Ceoil (1&2), the book Eagle’s Whistle published as a tribute to Donncha Ó Briain (1960-1990), a collection of Charlie Lennon’s compositions, an anthology of Michael Coleman’s music edited by Harry Bradshaw, and the Fiddle Tutor, written by Kathleen Nesbitt.
 

Available Videos