Celebrating renowned fiddle player in Leitrim

Leitrim Observer reporter

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Celebrating renowned fiddle player in Leitrim

Alex Sutherland (1873-1967),

As part of National Heritage Week 2019, staff at Ballinamore Library in conjunction with Cumann Ceoil Chonmhaicne are hosting an exciting event on Wednesday, August 21 at 7.30pm.

This is to celebrate the music of Alex Sutherland (1873-1967), who was a renowned fiddle player from Toome, Drumreilly. Sutherland was a prolific fiddle tutor and is responsible for keeping fiddle music alive in the south Leitrim region between 1910 and 1960, a time when Irish music witnessed a significant decline across Ireland.

Fortunately music that he taught to two of his students Mary Kate Gaffney (1919-1994) of Carrickmakeegan and Joseph McCabe (born 1909) of Crickeen, Drumreilly has survived to the present day.

Alex Sutherland also submitted over 200 rare local tunes and songs to the Irish Folklore Commission in the 1950s and 60s. A selection of songs and tunes from all these collections will be performed on the night. 

Several singers and musicians from the locality and from Mr Sutherland's direct descendants will perform at the event, including Carmel McDermott (granddaughter), Carmel's daughters, Karen Munnelly and Gemma Martin and their children, Fionnuala Maxwell, Marion Mulligan (granddaughter of Mary Kate Gaffney), Padraig McGovern, Olive Carway and Conor Ward.

It promises to be a fantastic night of music, song and lore in Ballinamore Library. All are welcome and light refreshments will be served.

For more great entertainment in Leitrim see here