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Living heroes of Irish Traditional Music featured as ‘Sé mo Laoch returns to TG4 for its 11th series

TG4 Sundays from 15th November 9.30pm


Pictured: Paddy Keenan

’Sé mo Laoch, TG4’s flagship traditional music series, tells the story of some of Irelands greatest musicians and singers. Each of the 5 one-hour documentaries celebrates the musicianship and creativity of some of our most well-known and respected performers. The series, produced for TG4, showcases the huge diversity of Irish traditional music and musicians, from “the Jimmy Hendrix of the pipes” Paddy Keenan to Cork sisters Nollaig Casey & Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Fermanagh singer Gabriel McArdle and Clare siblings Geraldine & Éamonn Cotter, not to mention the king of ‘Kerryoke’ himself Séamus Begley. Each programme is as unique as it is intimate and tells the story of these seminal musicians in their own words.
The series starts with a look at the life and career of Piper Paddy Keenan. Keenan is one of Ireland’s best-known Uilleann Pipers. He was born into a well-known family of travelling musicians. His playing was central to the sound The Bothy Band. Paddy rarely does interviews and has a magnetism that draws musicians and fans both to him and his music. The episode features contributions from Paddy Glackin, Matt Molloy, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Peter Browne, Séimí O’Dowd, Éamonn De Barra and John McSherry.

Kerry box player and singer Séamus Begley is featured in the second episode. Séamus’s singing and iconic duet with Australian guitarist Steve Cooney has left an indelible mark on traditional music in Ireland. He has sung with Mary Black, Sharon Shannon, The Waterboys and Téada and still does a bit of farming at his home on the western edge of the Dingle Peninsula. The seminal ‘Meitheal’ with the aforementioned Cooney was one of the most regaled Traditional music CD’s of the 1990’s and his energetic accordion playing has raised the roof off many a concert hall from An Droichead Beag to Tokyo. Joining him in this episode are his family, Steve Cooney, Muireann Nic Amhlaíobh, Donagh Hennessy & Óisín Mac Diarmada.

Next up is a profile on the life and career of Cork sisters Nollaig Casey & Máire Ní Chathasaigh. Nollaig Casey is one of Irelands foremost violinists/fiddlers and she has played with everyone from Van Morrison to Planxty, Coolfin, Cherish the Ladies, Makem and Clancy, the National Symphony Orchestra and many more. Her sister Máire Ní Chathasaigh was the first woman to be awarded Musician of the Year by TG4 and is also known as the first person to have played reels and jigs on the Harp. We take a look at their life and music with guests such as Arty McGlynn RIP, Chris Newman, Máire Ní Ghráda, Dónal Lunny & Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh.
Co. Clare is renowned as the homeplace of Irish Traditional Music as it lives and breathes in every almost every homestead and every parish. Two of the most well-known exponents of tradition in Co. Clare are siblings Geraldine and Éamonn Cotter. Geraldine is a piano player and teacher with a unique take on music and she grew up playing with the older masters of the music. Éamonn is a flute player and flute maker and whilst he played with the Tulla Céilí Band as a young fellow he now makes flutes that are played all over the world. We take a look at their life and music with guests such as Jack Talty, Kieran Hanrahan, Áine Hensey, Méabh Donnelly & Charlie Harris.
The songs and singing of Fermanagh singer Gabriel McArdle are the subject of the final episode of this series. Gabriel is one of Irelands untouched treasures with a rare pool of songs and a voice that is as natural as the lakes and waterways of his home county. With Adrian Dunbar, Cathal McConnell, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Gary Hastings, Ciarán Curran, Fintan McManus, Gerry O’Connor & Martin Quinn.
Directed by Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and produced by Dónal O’Connor, Executive Producer is Niamh Ní Bhaoill. ‘Sé mo Laoch is produced by Aniar TV.

For further information, hi-res photos, interviews with musicians or preview copies contact:

Linda Ní Ghriofa

Communications Editor TG4