Gradam Ceoil TG4
Mick, Louise & Michelle Mulcahy – Music Group
Mick, Louise and Michelle Mulcahy are a family of musicians from Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick. All three are successful solo musicians as well as being highly regarded as a trio. They have recorded four albums together, representing the styles and repertoires of Sliabh Luachra, Clare and East Galway – The Mulcahy Family (1999), Notes From the Heart (2005), Reelin in Tradition (2009), and The Reel Note (2016).
Mick (father to Louise and Michelle) was born in Kilmainham, Co. Kerry, and is a renowned traditional musician who plays B/C, C#/D, C/C# and D/D# systems of accordion, as well as melodeon and concertina. He was a member of the Brosna Céilí Band – winners of the All-Ireland title in 1972 – and also a composer and recording musician who released two solo albums, Mick Mulcahy (1976), and Mick Mulcahy and Friends (1990).
Louise began playing the tin whistle at age 5 and later moved onto the flute, with Matt Molloy and Eamon Cotter as significant influences on her style. At age 13 she started to learn the uilleann pipes – taught by Dave Hegarty in Tralee and in monthly masterclasses at Na Píobairí Uilleann – and is now a highly regarded musician in a largely male-dominated instrument. She is a performing musician, a tutor in the pipes and flute, and released solo album Tuning the Road in 2014.
In 2021, she was awarded the Arts Council Markievicz Award (in honour of Constance de Markievicz), and in 2022, she was the winner of the Arts Council and National Concert Hall Liam O’Flynn Award. In 2021, she presented Mná na bPíob on TG4 – a feature-length documentary film about a group of lesser-known female pipers.
Michelle also learned the whistle from age 5 and went on to play the button accordion, concertina, harp, fiddle, piano and melodeon. In 2006 she was awarded the Young Musician Award at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil, and in 2007, she performed on the Bill Whelan album The Connemara Suite alongside Zoë Conway and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. She is also an academic and her PhD research topic exploring the harp traditions of Burma and Ireland is the first of its kind.