Musician Liam O’Connor holds memorial concert in memory of late friend Padraig Harnett
The late Padraig Harnett was fondly remembered over the weekend as a concert dedicated to his memory was held in the Fáilte Hotel in Killarney.
Padraig passed away back in October of 2022 after a short illness and to remember his dear long-term friend, musician Liam O’Connor organised a concert in Padraig’s honour, a gig that took place this past Friday night.
Padraig, or Pat as he was known affectionately as by Liam, was O’Connor’s tour manager and friend for the past 30 years.
As Liam recalled, he first met Pat at the Earl of Desmond Hotel in Tralee where Pat was the hotel manager and as Liam said, “that was the start of a close personal friendship that was to last 30 years”.
Pat initially joined O’Connor’s team at the Fáilte sessions, before moving onto the Liam O’Connor shows in the Killarney Avenue Hotel where Pat was the tour manager for 11 years.
“Together we toured South America, especially Brazil, as well as Ireland, Britain, Italy and Europe.
Speaking to The Kerryman this week about how the concert in Padraig’s memory went, he described it as a wonderful night and a great way to remember his dear friend.
“We were best friends for 30 years so it was an emotional night, it was poignant. You were almost expecting him to walk through the door at any minute because it was exactly the kind of thing he’d have been at,” he said.
“The Fáilte was his spot so that’s why we wanted to hold it there. It was just a night for people who knew Pat to get together and to remember him,” he continued.
O’Connor further described Pat as a “loyal friend, so honest and very intelligent and down to earth.”
“He was a larger-than-life character who also worked as a journalist for local magazines, papers and was an avid soccer reporter who could discuss virtually any subject, including sport and music,” he said.
“He was a very special man and someone who played an enormous role in my musical career.