BY SEÁN P. FEENY
RENOWNED Donegal fiddle player Danny Meehan is to be honoured at this year’s annual Gradam Ceoil TG4 in Limerick on later this month.
Drimalost native Meehan will be honoured with the the Hall of Fame award presented to him be fellow Donegal musician Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.
At the age of 16 Danny left Donegal for England. He moved around England and Wales before moving to London in 1963.
At that time the city was a haven for music and Danny played with legendary figures from all over Ireland including Bobby Casey, Jimmy Power, Julia Clifford, Lucy Farr, PJ Crotty, Con Curtin and Roger Sherlock.
He also joined up with a group of musicians who went by the title Le Chéile, formed in the early 1970s by regulars at the sessions in The White Hart pub in Fulham Broadway.
Members included Raymond Roland, Liam Farrell, Kevin Boyle, John Rowe and PJ Crotty. This group released two albums, Lord Mayo in 1975 and Arís in 1978.
They have reformed in recent years and released Out of The West in 2010. Danny is also one of the players featured on the classic compilation recording Paddy in the Smoke where he plays the reel Paddy Ryan’s Dream with Bobby Casey.
Speaking from America where they this week completed a very successful short tour, Altan’s Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh said she was ‘delighted and honoured’ to be presenting Danny with the award. “Danny Meehan is one of the legends of Donegal fiddling.
“What’s more important is that he still playing music amongst us and inspiring all who listen, especially the youth who see Danny as the the last living connection with the old style of Donegal fiddling.
“He carries his talent modestly but with authority and is a fountain of knowledge on the traditional music of Donegal.
“I am delighted and honoured to have to present Danny Meehan with this lifetime achievement award, as he is definitely one of my heroes ,” she said.
The concert will be presented by TG4’s Aoife Ní Thuairisg and Páidí Ó Lionáird and Danny will be joined on stage by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Dermot McLoughlin and Tommy Peoples.
The TG4 Traditional Music Awards will take place in the University Concert Hall Limerick on March 24 at 7.45pm where this year’s recipients will be presented with their awards.