09 November 2008: Arts Council expresses its regret at the passing of renowned fiddle player James Byrne

The Arts Council has expressed its regret at the passing on Friday (7 November) of the Donegal fiddle player, James Byrne.

Speaking today, Mary Cloake, Director of the Arts Council said: "James Byrne was one of the great heroes of Irish traditional music, his technique and style of playing were exceptional and his death is a great loss. He embodied the values of his art, passing music and culture onto future generations and inspired many players. Our sympathy is extended to his wife Connie, their family and friends at this time".

James Byrne was one of the best known exponents of Glencolmcille’s longstanding fiddle tradition and was considered one of the leading fiddlers in Ireland today.

He was born in Meenacross, Glencolmcille, in South-West Donegal where he grew up surrounded by music - his father John and many neighbours played the fiddle, and both Mickey and John Doherty regularly called and spent time in Meenacross.

James had an unequalled store of old tunes and the stories that were attached to them. He was a much sought after performer and he also regularly taught at summer schools and festivals.

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

Recent publications
22 April 2014: Arts Council Plenary Minutes (March 2014) (PDF, 0.07 MB)
15 April 2014: Irish Arts Sector - Private Investment Report (PDF, 1.16 MB)
10 April 2014: Arts Council Prompt Payments Report January-March 2014 (PDF, 0.46 MB)