Friday 23 August 2019

Bryan is TG4 young musician of the year

Accordionist Bryan O’Leary from Tureencahill.
Accordionist Bryan O’Leary from Tureencahill.

AN up and coming Duhallow accordion player is the TG4 Young Musician of The Year 2014.

Bryan O'Leary is just 20 years of age and comes from the townland of Tureencahill, half way between Ballydesmond and Gneeveguilla, in the heart of Sliabh Luachra.

This year's awards ceremony and Gradam Ceoil Concert will take place in the UL Concert Hall, Limerick on Saturday, April 12, for broadcast over Easter. At the concert, hosted by Páidí Ó Lionáird and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, the 2014 Gradam recipients will be joined on stage by their special musical guests.

Each winner will be presented with a specially-commissioned piece by sculptor John Coll as well as a financial stipend.

Bryan started playing the accordion at the age of 10, shortly after his grandfather, the great accordionist Johnny O'Leary, passed away. He began his music career learning at his local national school under the guidance of Henry Cronin and continued learning with classes from the respected teacher and multi-instrumentalist Nicky McAuliffe from Castleisland.

As Bryan progressed on the accordion, he began learning his grandfather's music by ear and researching Johnny's music and old recordings. This greatly improved his repertoire and knowledge of Sliabh Luachra music.

In addition to the music of his late grandfather, other Sliabh Luachra stalwarts such as Denis Murphy, Julia Clifford, Padraig O'Keeffe and Paddy Cronin were also highly influential to this young and talented musician.

In the past few years, he has also enjoyed sharing and playing music with Billy Clifford who has been another great influence on his music, which keeps the link between the O'Leary and Murphy/Clifford tradition alive.

He was also influenced hugely by the legendary accordion player Jimmy Doyle from Maulykaevane, Gneeveguilla along with his two musical partners Joe O'Sullivan (flute) and Paudie Gleeson (fiddle).

Bryan He has played at various festivals including Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh, The Patrick O'Keeffe festival, The Gathering Festival and The Con Curtin Music Festival.

He has also performed on many TV and radio programmes in the last few years.

Throughout the past decade he has been encouraged and supported by his parents, Maureen and Bertie, his brother Barry and sister Ailish, along with his aunt Ellen.

Bryan is currently a student at the University of Limerick where he is studying Irish Music and Dance.

His grandfather, Johnny O'Leary, was honoured with the TG4 Gradam Saoil Award in November 2003 shortly before he passed away and as the young musician 2014 Bryan continues to honour his legacy and keeps the family tradition alive.

Flute player and piper Harry Bradley, from Belfast, heads the list of recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2014.

Tickets for the Gradam Ceoil concert at UL can be obtained by telephone from 061 331549 or on