Diarmuid’s new album completed just days before he died aged 56
Diarmuid O’Connell did not live to see the launch of the CD to which he had devoted the last few months of his life.
But he was adamant that not only would he finish recording The Songs I Used to
Sing: Volume 2, despite his failing health, but that the album would be launched, with or without his presence.
So, there was no doubt in the minds of the singer’s friends and family but that this Friday’s event, in aid of Marymount University Hospital and Hospice, must go ahead, regardless of the rawness of their grief over Diarmuid’s death, just 12 days ago.
Diarmuid, a native of Cill na Martra, recorded his first album, The Songs I Used to
Sing, in 2016, and divided the proceeds of its sales and of a successful launch night between Macroom Community Hospital and the town’s St Colman’s House facility.
Having been resident in Marymount during the past year, Diarmuid, aged 56, was determined to show his appreciation for the care he received, by recording a second CD of his favourite songs, as a fundraiser. His sister, Nora, said: “It’s for Marymount and it was his wish, whether he was there or not, that it went ahead. It’s what he wanted.”
The new CD serves both as a fundraiser and as a poignant legacy for a man who was surrounded by song throughout his life.
“He used always be singing. He was brought up with it and loved it always. The radio was always on in the house,” Nora added, recalling ‘The Claddagh Ring’ as one of her brother’s early favourites.
Like his first CD, the new re- cording features songs both in Irish and English, collected over a lifetime steeped in the singing of the Múscraí area. In an interview for The County on the release of The Songs I
Used to Sing, Diarmuid said: “I’m singing since I can remember, because our house was full of music and song.”
Despite suffering from a lung condition, Diarmuid recorded his new tracks, including the evocative ‘Táimse im’ Chodladh’, and paid tribute on the album cover to those who assisted him.
Referring to his “beautiful room in Marymount”, he said: “I want to show my gratitude to this wonderful facility, by organising another fundraiser. What better way than with a new CD?” He praised the “fantastic support and help which I have received from so many, but most especially Tony Kirby, my recording manager, without whom this CD would not have been possible”. The Songs I Used to Sing, Volume 2 will be launched at the Riverside Park Hotel, Macroom, by C103 presenter, John Greene, this Friday, December 8, at 8pm, with CDs also on sale in local shops.
Diarmuid O’Connell completed the album, The Songs I Used to Sing: Volume 2. He died two weeks ago.