ONE of the finest exponents of the world-renowned south Sligo style of fiddle playing is to be honoured with the erection of a new monument to his memory in his native Ballymote.
Paddy Killoran is regarded among Sligo's greatest fiddlers, alongside his mentor James Morrison and Michael Coleman.
Paddy was born in 1904 just outside Ballymote on the Gurteen Road. He emigrated to New York in the 1925, where he polished his distinctive style under Morrison's tutelage and he launched his own career as a recording artist and band leader in the 'golden age' of the ethnic recording industry of the 1920's and 30's.
He made dozens of 78rpm discs as a soloist, in duets with fellow Sligo fiddler, Paddy Sweeney, and as the leader of his 'Pride of Eirn Orchestra.'
Paddy's career continued through the depression and into the 1950's when he recorded some tracks with Sligo fluet player Mike Flynn.
On occasion, his band was hired to play on trans-atlantic liners and Killoran visited Ireland several times. He featured on Irish radio at least once during these trips and also travelled back to Sligo and to his wife's home in Miltown Malbay, Clare.
Paddy Killoran died in 1965 but he is remembered as playing an important role in the development of Irish music which took place in the U.S.A. and which also impacted at home.
The Ballymote branch of Comhaltas Ceoiltori Eireann is now planning to unveil a monument to Killoran at the Gurteen Road entrance to Ballymote town park at the end of July or in early August, at a cost of approximately €10,000.
"Paddy Killoran left his mark world wide and we felt it important that he be remembered in his native Ballymote," said the Chairman of Ballymote C.C.E., Tim Mulcahy.
"We have been working on this project for some time and a lot of people are helping us. We have had great support from the Ballymote Enterprise Company, the local Community Employment scheme and others. We feel the monument will be a fitting tribute to a famous South Sligo musician," he added.
To co-incide with the erection of the monument, which will feature stone from Feely Stone in Boyle, a special CD will also be released with fifteen fiddle players, including Kevin Burke in the U.S., contributing tunes.