Fiddle player and festival organiser Eoin O’Sullivan has been appointed as Sliabh Luachra Musician in Residence in an a new traditional music development initiative by the Arts Offices of Cork and Kerry County Council and Limerick City and County Council, the Irish Traditional Music Archive and the Arts Council of Ireland
Announcing the appointment, Cork County Council Arts Officer, Ian McDonagh said, “The Sliabh Luachra region has an incredibly rich heritage in music, song and dance. The Sliabh Luachra style is one of the great traditional music performance styles and is known the world over. However the transmission and practice of that great tradition in Sliabh Luachra region is under pressure on many levels. Through this residency, we are delivering on a commitment to support the musicians and organisations already working locally to preserve and promote the music of their local areas.”
Over the next 12 months Eoin O’Sullivan will be working with children in schools in the Sliabh Luachra area promoting awareness of the region’s vast musical heritage. Eoin will also engage with music festivals, music, singing and set dance groups, local musicians and music teachers to help and promote the excellent work that is being done by these groups.
Eoin O’Sullivan himself is a well known musician from Newmarket, county Cork. He spent his childhood immersed in the music and history of Sliabh Luachra, mainly thanks to his father, the fiddle playing local historian Raymond O’Sullivan. He has worked as musician since the age of sixteen and while his own musical life has been diverse and colourful he is most passionate about the music and culture of the area where he grew up. In 2013 he started a small school teaching local music to people of all ages and that year he also took on the role of director of Scullys Fest and has helped grow the festival to be one of the highlights of the Sliabh Luachra musical calendar.
Aoife Potter Cogan Assistant Arts Officer for Limerick City and County Council said “we are delighted to be able to provide this residency opportunity with our partner organisations. The residency will be an important resource supporting music development, engagement with communities, and our commitment to support arts practice in rural areas. This is an ambitious programme and the Musician in Residence will be central to the delivery of our objectives”
Kerry County Council Arts Officer Kate Kennelly said “ This residency and the work we have been doing to develop the Sliabh Luachra Music Trail demonstrates the commitment that Kerry, Cork and Limerick County Councils have to preserving this great tradition. The residency is one part of a series of measure that we are undertaking through the Sliabh Luachra Music Trail that aims to promote and preserve the region’s unique musical heritage”.
The Mayor of Cork County Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy has thanked the Mayors of both Kerry County and Limerick City and County for their backing for this project saying “the Musician in Residence programme demonstrates how, through positive collaboration between neighbouring councils, we can all work together to support excellence in rural arts in the region”.