Gaeltacht mourns the pass­ing of a true friend

Irish Examiner - County - - NEWS - Pet O’Connell

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.

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