Sunday 19 January 2020

Padraigin set for Sé mo Laoch

Dundalk-born traditional singer and composer Pádraigín Ní Ullacháin is featured in the new series of 'Sé Mo Laoch which returns to TG4 this month.

'Sé mo Laoch, which is in its tenth series, tells the story of some of Ireland's greatest traditional musicians and singers. Each of the 5 one hour documentaries celebrates the musicianship and creativity of some of the country's most well known and respected performers. The series, produced for TG4, showcases the huge diversity of Irish traditional music and musicians.

Pádraigín is featured in the second programme of the series which goes out on TG4 on Sunday January 19 at 9.30pm.

Pádraigín was raised in an Irish speaking family of eight and her early years were steeped in traditional culture, music and song.

She has enjoyed a varied career which has included periods as a school teacher and a presenter and broadcaster, and since the 1990's she has been particularly associated with traditional music. Singing has been the main focus of her professional career - recording 9 studio albums and restoring song in the corpus of the Irish Language Oriel song tradition and also new song composition. She was Traditional Musician in Residence for eight years in the Seamus Heaney Centre of Poetry in Queens University Belfast, and also did one year residencies in Dundalk nstitute of Technology and The Glens Arts Centre in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim. She is also the first recipient of an Irish language fellowship from the Royal Literary Fund based at St Mary's University College Belfast and Queen's University, Belfast.

She is considered an authority on the music and song traditions of Ulster and in particular of her native Oriel region, having published definitive collection of traditional song and music from the area ''A Hidden Ulster - people, songs and traditions of Oriel' in 2003.' She continued this work with the launch of the Oriel Arts Project website and CD in 2017.

Pádraigín has been honoured for her work, receiving the Gradam Award from TG4 in 2018, and also the 'Mná an Mhisnigh' (Women of Courage) Award Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 from Craobh an Iúir de Chonradh na Gaeilge; a Cultural Achievement Award 2018 from GAA An Mullach Bán; a Civic Award 2018, from Newry, Mourne and Down Council, for her contribution to local culture and the Creative Arts Award 2018 at Fiddler's Green Festival in Rostrevor, Co. Down

This documentary traces her steps through the ancient kingdom of Oriel and as she warmly welcomes singers and musicians such as Steve Cooney, nephews Dónal (who also produces the show) and Feilimí O'Connor and niece Siubhán O'Connor, Odhrán Ó Casaide, Ríoghnach Connolly, Zoe Conway and John McIntyre, Darren MacAoidh & Sylvia Crawford to her beautiful home in the foothills of South Armagh.

Other musicians featured in the series are the Australian born guitarist Steve Cooney, Roscommon flute player Patsy Hanley, fiddler Paddy Glackin, and Galway box player Mairtin O'Connor, who played in Skylark with the acclaimed local fiddle player Gerry O'Connor.

The Argus