Ben Lennon receives hall of fame award at Gradam Ceoil

Gradam Ceoil TG4 2011, the Oscars of Traditional Irish music will be aired this Sunday, April 24 and there will be very special interest for Leitrim viewers as Ben Lennon was awarded the hall of fame award.

Gradam Ceoil TG4 2011, the Oscars of Traditional Irish music will be aired this Sunday, April 24 and there will be very special interest for Leitrim viewers as Ben Lennon was awarded the hall of fame award.

Gradam Ceoil TG4 2011, the Oscars of Traditional Irish music will be aired this Sunday, April 24 and there will be very special interest for Leitrim viewers as Ben Lennon was awarded the hall of fame award.

Affectionately known in traditional music circles as Lord Leitrim, Ben Lennon, the eldest of four sons, was born into a musical family in Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim in 1928 Ben left Kiltyclogher for England in 1949 and following in his father’s footsteps he studied the clothing trade in London before returning to work in Limerick, Cork and later Donegal. In all these places he met and played with an interesting array of local musicians including the Russells, Paddy Canny, Vincent Griffin, Francie Donnellan, Séamus Connolly, Con Foley, Jim Sullivan, The Carroll brothers, Mick Milne, Dick Nangle, Joe Burke, Danny Meehan, John Doherty, Frank Curneen, Phil Rooney,

While working in Cork, Ben formed a band with Jackie Daly, Charlie Piggott and Gary Cronin, playing every Thursday night in summer in the Sunset Ridge Motel in Blarney. 1989, shortly after retiring from the famous tweed company, Magee & Co of Donegal, Ben recorded Dog Big, Dog Little, an album on the Claddagh Records label with Fermanagh musicians Séamus Quinn, Ciarán Curran and Gabriel Mc Ardle. He was involved in a family album on the Gael Linn label in 1993 entitled Dance of the Honey Bees and in 1999 he recorded The Natural Bridge, in the company of his many musical friends, sons Maurice and Brian and his brother Charlie.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.