RIP Fiddle-player and Teacher Brendan Mulkere

Brendan Mulkere

RIP Fiddle-player and Teacher Brendan Mulkere

Clare man taught generations of musicians in London from the 1970s onwards.

The fiddle-player and teacher Brendan Mulkere has died today (28 August) in Crusheen, Co. Clare.

Born in Clare in 1947, he moved to London in the 1970s where he worked as a teacher at primary and second level. He also began teaching Irish traditional music and taught in Luton, St Albans and Bedford. In 1979, he left his teaching job to expand his traditional music classes.

As well as teaching music, Mulkere also organised concerts of traditional music and it was this combination of tuition and performance that meant he had a significant impact on generations of young musicians in London in the 1970s, 80s and beyond. Among his students were Niall Keegan, John Carty, John Whelan, John Blake and Claire Egan. 

In 1974 Mulkere set up Inchecronin Records, which released a number of albums including Memories of Sligo by flute-player Roger Sherlock. In 1979 he worked on the traditional Irish music programme of the London European City of Culture Festival, and in 1983 he founded the London Irish Commission for Culture and Education, which ran the month-long annual festival Síol Phádraig from 1985 to 1993. Mulkere subsequently taught at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith as part of the Mulkere Academy of Irish Music. He also taught annually at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick for almost two decades.

As a musician, Mulkere was influenced by artists such as Bobby Casey, Paddy Fahey and Seán Maguire and he can be heard on recordings such as Across the Waters: Irish Traditional Music from England and ‘It was great altogether!’: The Continuing Tradition of Irish Music in London.

He moved back to Clare in recent years and in 2019 he was awarded the Gradam Comaoine/Outstanding Contribution award by TG4.

A private funeral mass for family and close friends will take place in Ennis Cathedral on Sunday 30 August. The burial will take place afterwards in Drumcliffe.

Published on 28 August 2020

 

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