The Shannon Family Announced as Recipients of 2021 MÓRglór Award

Garry, Sharon, Mary and Majella Shannon (Photo: Eamon Ward)

The Shannon Family Announced as Recipients of 2021 MÓRglór Award

The award will be presented at a concert in Glór in Ennis on 6 November.

The Shannon family – Sharon Shannon, Garry Shannon, Majella Shannon, and Mary Shannon – have been announced as the recipients of the 2021 MÓRglór Award. The award, presented by Glór in Ennis and named after Muiris Ó Rócháin, the former director of the Willie Clancy Summer School, celebrates outstanding contributions to the musical culture of County Clare. On Saturday 6 November, a concert to mark the occasion will take place at the venue featuring performances from the Shannons and a line-up of special guest musicians. 

Commenting on the news, the Shannon family said:

[We] feel hugely honoured to be the recipients of the 2021 MÓRglór award in a county where there are so many equally deserving musical families whose long-suffering parents also traipsed over the years with them to sessions, competitions, rehearsals and disasters, through thick and thin with patience and tolerance.

From Bealacana in Clare, the Shannons were exposed to music from an early age through the singing of their parents Mary and IJ, and later through records and tapes of traditional, country and pop music. In the late 1970s they began learning the tin whistle at the Teach Ceoil in Corofin under the tutelage of musicians such as Tom Barrett, John Byrt, Tony Linnane and Gus Tierney. They all competed at the Fleadh Ceoil, but greatly developed their playing skills through attending Friday night sessions driven by Frank Custy in Toonagh Hall. They began to play for dance with the Toonagh Céilí Band and subsequently started recording and touring abroad with concertina player Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin’s group Dísirt Tóla.

Since then, they have each performed and developed their own careers individually. Sharon is one of Ireland’s most highly acclaimed musicians and has gained international recognition for her playing. She has released a number of solo albums, including Sharon Shannon (1991), Out the Gap (1994), and The Reckoning (2020), and has also appeared on many albums in collaboration with other musicians.

Banjo-player Mary is well-known for her work with the band The Bumblebees and was also a member of The Woodchoppers with the Kane sisters, Sharon, guitarist Jim Murray, and bass guitarist Tony Molloy. She has performed at Glastonbury festival, and in countries such as Japan, Australia, the US, and Canada. Fiddle-player Majella toured with Dísirt Tóla in the 1980s and featured on numerous recordings. She is also a fiddle teacher and is a coach of bands and groups for fleadh competitions. Flute-player Garry is the eldest of the family and is a member of the Kilfenora Ceili Band. Garry won the senior All-Ireland flute title in 1988 and now teaches the instrument and runs a residential summer school for young musicians.

Previous recipients of the MÓRglór Award include the Corofin Traditional Music Festival (2014), Eoin O’Neill (2015), Frank Custy (2016), Geraldine Cotter (2017), Chris Droney (2018) and Mary MacNamara (2019). 

For more information and tickets for the concert on 6 November, visit: https://bit.ly/3j2Y4Gz

Published on 8 October 2021

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