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Who was a fine Musician started me off playing music on the Banjo-Mandolin when I was only about four or five. For about ten years I learned tunes. When I was about twelve I fell in love with Traditional Irish Music, joined CCE and started entering the Fleadhs.

My Father

It was inevitable I suppose as I can trace Trad back five generations on my Fathers’ side. I won county and Leinster titles from the age of thir- teen to nineteen and gave up competing when I won the All-Ireland in 1981. I did the UK and USA tours with CCE in 1983. Te old Fleadh Ceoil days were some of the best of my life :-) My parents brought me all over Ireland to them, dragging the whole family along for support. Sometimes there would be a convoy of cars from the CCE (Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann) club we were in. Great times! Te CCE tours in ‘83 were great too... mad craic and fairly heavy going but a wonderful experience and brilliant music. Ahhh, the good ol’ days!! :-) I started playing in Folk Bands around ‘84 and formed a band called Te Jarveys with my good friend Noel Dunbar. After that I formed Te Band Ború with my neighbour Tommy Breen. Ború turned out to be a long lasting one from 1986-1994 and even still to this day we get together for some enjoyable reunion gigs. More recently I play with a band called Cruinniú which is a trio of Brian Farrell, Pat Fitzpatrick and I. I love the music we do, a mixture of trad and songs from various sources, and enjoy the Gigs. It gives me a chance to do a few of my original songs too as we have a diverse set-up of instru- ments and influences.

At about the age of fifteen I took up Guitar and got into Singing and Songwriting. I wrote mostly lyrics for a few years, but I did manage

to write a few melodies too and get a few songs completed... albeit fairly simple ones :-) Tere was a local festival that kind of gave me an extra shove as it had a competition in it for ‘Te Best Wicklow Song’ (My home county), so I made an effort to write a song for it. Te festival was called ‘Te Avon- dale Festival’, named after a famous area in Wicklow near Rathdrum, where Charles Stuart Parnell had his estate... anyway I won the competition and it gave me more interest and encouragement in my songwriting. I became very interested in it as the years went on and kept writing and then went on to record some of my Songs with a band called Ború which I formed with a friend in 1985. Funny thing was then about my songwriting that most of the stuff I wrote wasn’t suitable for the band. I was play- ing in a folk/ballad band but was writing more con- temporary general acoustic material. Unfortunately as a result of that I ended up not having an outlet for a lot of my songs for the years I was in Ború. I continued to write and got a lot of songs out of me between the ages of say 25 - 35. I write about “real” things... life experiences etc... heartfelt feelings and emotions. I had a lot of material to work with for those years as I had a marriage break-up and a divorce to contend with and a lot of emotion surrounding

my young son... heart-breaking stuff to be honest, but sure that’s where most good songs come from! We’re a scarred bunch of individuals us songwriters :-) I would consider my best songs to be from that period and from relationships and emotions during those years. I am focusing more on my songwriting and personal

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