Cathal McConnell

One of the last great originals of Irish traditional music

Cathal McConnell needs no introduction to lovers of Irish music. As a founding member of The Boys of the Lough, he has been sharing his music with audiences across the globe for over thirty years.

Born in Bellinalech, Co. Fermanagh in 1944, by the time he was eleven years old he was playing the tin whistle, encouraged by his father and local teacher Peter Flanagan. At 15 he took up the flute and in 1962, at the age of 18, he became All-Ireland champion on both instruments.

His influence on the world of whistle playing is immense, with many modern whistle players citing their exposure to Cathal McConnell as their reason for taking up the instrument.

A fine traditional singer also, Cathal has a large repertoire, including the long ballads and serious songs and also some more humorous pieces.

He has featured on over twenty albums, with many of these receiving top awards as well as Grammy (USA) and Deutschen Schallplatten (Germany) nominations.

The McConnell/Graham duet album, For the Sake of Old Decency was nominated for the National Association of Independent Record Distributors and Manufacturers (NAIRD) as one of the top Celtic/British Isles releases, while McConnell’s long-awaited solo CD, Long Expectant Comes At Last, was released in 2002 to great critical acclaim.

Cathal McConnell plays alongside Gerry O'Connor and Martin Quinn on January 27, in Ballyhugh House Arts and Cultural Centre.