Intro Text 

Traditional flute player  Iarlaith Mac Gabhann was awarded the Emerging Musician-in-Residence 2021. The Residency culminated in a public performance to showcase the material and knowledge collected from his research.

dlr Musician in Residence, Iarlaith Mac Gabhann offers insights into the creative process during his dlr Musician-in-Residence research.

"I have been immensely lucky to obtain archival material of both P Flanagan and John Joe Maguire in recent weeks, which was previously unexplored. The Dún Laoghaoire Rathdown ‘Emerging Musician in Residency’ has afforded me the time and privilege to explore the music of two masters whose style of playing is increasingly rare today. Several of their tunes and settings were previously unknown to me and seem to have been lost to Irish tradition. I hope to reintroduce some of this repertoire and draw attention to the important contributions of these humble musicians, among others, in a live performance later this year.

This is a recording of my rendition of a reel Henry Glassie recorded from John Joe Maguire at O’Luiny’s, Swanlinbar, Fermanagh, in 1972."

Iarlaith Mac Gabhann, dlr Musician in Residence, shares his second update.

"For two years now I have intended to visit flute player Michael Tubridy, however, for different reasons – college/work/Covid-19, it wasn’t until the beginning of my Residency that I made my first visit to Michael’s home.

This is a video of Michael and myself in Michael’s home in Churchtown Co. Dublin, where he has lived for most of his life. Here we play two reels that Michael associates with musicians he met during his youth in Kilrush and the neighbouring areas. Michael is related to the renowned concertina player Mrs. Crotty through his mother’s side of the family. This first reel is commonly referred to as “Dan Breen’s”. However, as Michael pointed out to me, it is often attributed to the wrong Dan Breen. Rather than the Irish Volunteer who was involved in the raid at Soloheadbeg Co. Tipperary, the tune in fact refers to a fiddle player Dan Breen from whom Michael learned the tune in the home of Mrs. Crotty."

Iarlaith Mac Gabhann, dlr Musician in Residence, shares his third update.

"Michael Tubridy’s association with Traditional Irish Step-Dancing began with a meeting between Michael, his wife Celine, and Dan Furey from Labasheeda. Dan Furey was born in England in 1909, but moved to Co. Clare as a child. Dan’s parents were dancers and dances would often take place in the family home. Dan learned to play the fiddle, and he also played the melodeon and concertina. Dan learned his first steps from family members such as his brother George and his parents. While visiting his brother in England Dan attended classes run by Maurice O’Connor who was a dancing master originally from Cork. In the accompanying video Michael dances a five-step hornpipe as learned from Dan Furey. I play a hornpipe known as “The Harvest Home”, which was a favourite of Dan Furey’s to dance to, and indeed is a favourite of many dancers."

Iarlaith Mac Gabhann, dlr Musician in Residence, shares his fourth update.

"For my fourth and final update as part of my Dún-Laoghaire Rathdown residency I have put together a selection of two reels which serve as an example of the type of music I intend to showcase as part of the Residency’s final performance later in the year."


During the course of his Residency, Iarlaith used archival material to investigate tunes by lesser known musicians associated with the North Connacht flute tradition. In parallel to this, Iarlaith engaged with local musician and founding member of The Chieftains, Michael Tubridy. Iarlaith investigated and recorded Michael’s experience in music as well as his extensive knowledge of traditional music and dance, with a focus on Dublin-based flute players.

Iarlaith's music is strongly influenced by flute players such as John McKenna, Tom Morrison, Packie Duignan, Patsy Hanly, Séamus Tansey and Roger Sherlock to name a few. He has performed regularly at festivals including The Cruinniú na Bhfliúit Showcase in 2019 and has taught at a range of festivals including The Festival Interceltique de Lorient. Iarlaith is a member of the band Nuadán, who released their album “Dén Díobháil” to great acclaim in 2020.

The Musicians-in-Residence scheme is jointly funded by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the Arts Council and managed by Music Network.