Gaeltacht mourns the passing of a true friend
Tributes have been paid to a journalist and musician whose “life and soul was in the tradition” of the language, music, and song of the Gaeltacht village of Baile Mhúirne.
Seán Ó Loingsigh, 58, passed away unexpectedly. He was a noted bouzouki and whistle player who had recorded with a string of Irish traditional musicians including Charlie Piggott and Gerry Harrington, Connie O’Connell, Conal Ó Gráda, Séamus Creagh and Aidan Coffey, and Eoin Ó Riabhaigh.
His voice was as well known as his music, and he could regularly be heard delivering RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta news reports, while he also wrote both in the Irish language and in English.
Mourners packed St Gobn a i t ’ s C h u r ch i n B a i l e Mhúirne to pay respects to a man whose life was steeped in Gaeltacht culture. He is survived by his brothers Dónal and Mícheál, and sister Nóra Máire. Lifelong friend, musician and painter Liam Forde said Seán “loved the culture in Baile Mhúirne and Cúil Aodha; the Irish and the tradition, the people and the music, the sean-nós singing and stories — that was his life. His life and soul was in tradition”.
“Seán had a fantastic ear and rhythm and a great sense of timing for traditional music, and he could also play the piano,” he said, adding that his friend had in his youth also been an established footballer with Naomh Abán.
From an early age, Seán had been fascinated with learning from older generations of musicians, many of whom he met through Liam’s father, accordion player Davey Forde. He went on to play with the likes of accordion player Finbarr Dwyer and piper Liam O’Flynn, also touring with accordion legend Joe Burke.
Seán spent a period immersed in the Dublin traditional music scene, which at the time included Cork flute player Conal Ó Gráda.
Musician and journalist Seán Ó Loingsigh, who passed away unexpectedly, age 58.