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Gradam Comaoine (Outstanding Contribution) TG4 2023 goes to Scottish musician Frank McArdle


TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2023 is in its 26th year and the awards ceremony will air live on TG4 on Sunday the 23rd April at 9.30pm from University Concert Hall in Limerick. The concert can be viewed live on TG4 player at worldwide. TG4 is the Irish language television channel based in Ireland.
The annual Gradam Ceoil Awards, also known as ‘the Oscars of traditional music’, celebrate and pay tribute to musicians who have advanced, strengthened, and preserved traditional music in Ireland and throughout the world.
This year Gradam Ceoil changed how one of the seven Gradam Ceoil recipients was chosen. An Gradam Comaoine / The Outstanding Contribution Award has been selected by a combination of public nomination and panel selection. After a call-out for nominees TG4 received hundreds of submissions from all over the world for this years’ award.
Gradam Comaoine TG4 2023 goes to Frank McArdle. Frank McArdle is a musician, educator and founder of the St Roch’s Céilí Band in Glasgow. Having grown up in the small town of Dalmellington in Ayrshire, he moved to Glasgow and worked as a maths teacher in St Roch’s Secondary School where he founded a céilí band for students – the St Roch’s Ceilí Band – in 1978. Frank’s Irish heritage comes through his grandparents who hailed from Antrim, Sligo and Monaghan.
As a musician, McArdle plays the piano accordion, fiddle and guitar and was inspired by Irish traditional musicians such as fiddle player Sean McGuire, button accordionist Joe Burke and The Bothy Band. As a member of his local Comhaltas branch The Irish Minstrels, he began to introduce his pupils from the school céilí band to the Comhaltas lessons, céilís and fleadhanna. He later took on the running of the branch and moved its classes to St Roch’s Secondary School where it is still based.
The Irish Minstrels Comhaltas branch now has over 150 pupils and provides free tuition in whistle, fiddle, flute, button accordion, piano accordion, concertina, banjo and uilleann pipes. McArdle is now Chairman of the branch and facilitates its lessons and entries to fleadhanna across Britain and in Ireland. The branch has 30 tutors, who learned their music at the classes and are happy to teach on a voluntary basis.
In 2022, the branch, which performs as the St Roch’s Céilí Band, sent four céilí bands and four grúpaí ceoil to the All Ireland Fleadh in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.
McArdle is a passionate educator and musician who has taught hundreds of young traditional musicians and provided free tuition and performance opportunities for all ages and levels of ability.
An Gradam Comaoine was first presented in 2006 to pay tribute to the dedication of those people who have worked tirelessly to ensure the preservation and dissemination of our traditional music, making certain that the next generation will always have access to the music of yesterday and today.
At the awards ceremony on the 23rd of April Frank will be joined by a fantastic grouping of St. Roch’s musicians to fly the flag for Scotland on the night.
Award recipients will be joined by an outstanding array of musical talent for this night of celebration. Tickets for Gradam Ceoil TG4 2023 are available here Gradam Ceoil TG4 2023 Tickets
The full list of TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2023 recipients reads as follows:

  • Gradam Comaoine/Outstanding Contribution – Frank McArdle
  • Ceoltóir /Musician – Mick O’Brien
  • Amhránaí /Singer – Síle Denvir
  • Ceoltóir Óg/Young Musician – Méabh Smyth
  • Gradam Saoil/Lifetime Achievement – Fintan Vallelly
  • Cumadóir / Composer – Maurice Lennon
  • Grúpa Ceoil/Music Group- Mick, Louise, Michelle Mulcahy


Media Contact in TG4:
Linda Ní Ghríofa | Communications Editor TG4 |

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