Turlough Carolan (1670-1738)


Life
[Toirbhdeallach Ó Cearbhalláin]; b. Newton [nr. Nobber], Co. Westmeath [var. Meath in Hardiman], son of John O’Carolan; settled Carrick-on-Shannon, patronised by Lady St. George, befriended by Madame MacDermott Roe of Alderford House, Ballyfarnan, Co. Roscommon (where he grew up), and by Denis O’Conor of Belanagare at Castlerea, Co. Roscommon; equipped with horse and servant by the McDermotts, he became a distinguished itinerant harpist at Irish and Anglo-Irish houses including that of Dr. Delany, where Swift may have heard him first hand (giving rise to his version of Aodh Mac Gabhráin’’s “Pléaráca na Ruarcach’’); influenced by Corelli and Vivaldi; became centre of a group of musicians and songwriters incl. Dall MacCuairt, Cahir MacCabe, Patrick MacAlindon, and Peter O’’Durnan, from Meath and Louth districts;
 
his songs incl. “The Fairy Queens”, “Planxty Reynolds”, “Grace Nugent”; “Bridget Cruise”; “Mild Mabel Kelly”; “Ode to O”More”s Fair Daughter”, called “The Hawk of Ballyshannon”; “Peggy Browne”; “Gentle Brideen”; and “Why, Liquor of Life”; “The Cup of O”Hara”; reputedly forsaw his own death and that of their daughter; composed “Farewell to Music”, his last piece; gave his Corbollis House, the Dublin residence of Wilkinson, Lord Mayor of Dublin; returned to the McDermott Roe home to die; d. 25 March; Carolan, a fervent Catholic, was bur. at the east end of Kilronan Churchyard, Ardagh, the burial ground of the MacDermottroe family [Mac Diarmiad Rua], the funeral being attended by 60 members of the Catholic clergy;
 
rumours of friendship with Jonathan Swift involving the assertion that the Dean admired his genius and had him frequently at the Deanery House of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, and used to hear him play and sing the “Pléaráca”, are probably founded in the fact that Dr. Patrick Delany was a patron of Carolan, who counted him as a friend; Laurence Whyte wrote an account of ‘OCarrallan’ (in “Dissertation on Italian and Some Irish Music”, 1740); Goldsmith wrote another (in The British Magazine, July 1760), and J. C. Walker another (in Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards [1786]; rep. 1818]);
 
Carolan was criticised by Edward Bunting in his General Collection of Ancient Irish Music (1796; 1840. 3rd edn.) for incorporating Italian influence in his Gaelic airs; an annual Harpers’ Festival and traditional music festival is held in Co. Westmeath in his honour; Brian Keenan has written a fictional life (Carolan, 2000). RR ODNB DIB BREF OCIL FDA

R. B. Armstrong
Lady Morgan

Engraving of Carolan reprinted in The Irish and Highland Harps, by R. B. Armstrong (1904).

Memorial to Carolan in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, erected by Lady Morgan.

[ Images given in Wikipedia - online; accessed 16.03.2015. ]


See also ..

Syllabus of the first commemoration of Carolan consisting of ancient Irish melodies as performed in the Private Theatre in Fishamble Street on Wednesday September 20th 1809 and repeated by general desire at the Rotunda on Wednesday September 27th 1809 in aid of the funds and under the patronage of The Irish Harp Society, the Second edition corrected and enlarged, Dublin, Printed by the Hibernian Press Company, printers to the Irish Harp Society, 1809 (Royal Irish Academy [1809) - held in the Halliday Collection (Box 371/11).

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Works
A Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes (Dublin 1726]); Tomás Ó Máille, ed., Amhráin Chearbhalláin: The Poems of Carolan [Irish Text Soc., No. 17] (London 1916).

Discography: The Chieftains [Paddy Moloney, et al.], O’Carolan’s Receipt: The Music of Carolan, Vol. I (Claddagh, 1975) [contents]; Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman [harp and guitar], The Carolan Albums (Old Bridge Music 1994) [CD & cassette].

Note num. arrangements incl. Carolan’s Concerto: Celtic Harp, Pedal Harp (Abergavenney: Adlais [1996]). [2] pp., 35 cm.

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Bibliographical details
O’Carolan’s Receipt, Vol. I of Music of Carolan, Paddy Moloney, et al. [The Chieftains] (Claddagh Records [n.d.]), played by Derek Bell with Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts, Michael Tubridy, Sean[e] Keane and Martin Faye. The contents of the Claddagh recording by Derek Bell is as follows, ‘Sídh Beag agus Sídh Mór; ‘Carolan’s Receipt, or An Docthúir Seán Stafford; ‘Lady Athenry [dg. of Earl of Westmeath]; ‘Fanny Poer; ‘Máire Dhall; ‘Sir Festus a Búrca’; ‘Rúisg, a bhean na tabhairne’, and ‘Carolan’s ramble to Cashel’; ‘Mrs Poer or Carolan’s concerto; ‘Seán Ó Conchubhair’, and ‘A h-uiscí na n-anamann’; ‘Séoirse Brabston’; ‘Máible Ní Cheallaigh’; ‘Madame Maxwell, ‘Carolan’s Nightcap’, and ‘Lady Gethin’; ‘Brighid Crúis; ‘Seán Ó Rathilligh’; and’ Carolan’s Farewell to Music’. Carolan died on Lady’s Day 1738. The literary notes (which enthusiastically support a harmonic treatment of the airs against the purists) are by Gerald Hanley, and the musical notes by Seóirse Bodley. Notes include a tale of Carolan going on pilgrimage at Lough Derg and assisting some passengers to board the boat. He chances to touch the hand of a lady, and exclaims, Dar lámha mo cháird is Chríost [by the hand of my gossip] this is the hand of Bridget Cruise’ - the lady he loved. The story, involving an allusion to the custom of gossipred, is told by Charles O’Conor of Belanagare [source not stated].

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Criticism
  • Laurence Whyte, ‘Dissertation on Italian and Irish Musick, with some panegyrick on Carrallan our late Irish Orpheus’ [1740];
  • Oliver Goldsmith, ‘The History of Carolan, the Last Irish Bard’, in the British Magazine (July 1760) - rep. in Miscellaneous Writings, 1, pp.208-10 [also in Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, ed. Seamus Deane (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1, pp.667-68];
  • Joseph Cooper Walker, ‘The Life of Turlough O’Carolan’, in Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards [1st edn. 1786; 2nd Edn., 2 vols (Dubiln: J. Christie 1818), pp.161-77.
  • James Hardiman, ‘Memoir of Carolan’, in Irish Minstrelsy, 2 vols. (London: Robins 1831; IUP rep. edn. 1971), Vol. I, Introduction, pp.xli-lviii, [i.e., lxvii-lxviii];
  • Donal O’Sullivan, O’Carolan, Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper, 2 vols. (1958), and Do. [rep. edn. in 1 vol.] with app. by Bonnie Shaljean (Ossian 2001), 378pp. [incls. recently discovered works];
  • Robert Welch, A History of Verse Translation from the Irish 1789-1897 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1988) [remarks on ‘Gracey Nugent’, ‘James Plunkett’, ‘Monody’, Ol-ré Chearbhalláin [‘Carolan’s Receipt’], ‘Tiargharna Mhaighe-eo’].
  • Liam P Ó Murchú, ed., Amhráin Chearbhallá / The Poems of Carolan: Reassessments [Irish Texts Society, Vol. 18] (Dublin: Irish Texts Society 2007), ix, 100pp. [contents]
See also remarks on Carolan in Sydney Owenson, The Wild Irish Girl (1806) - as infra.
 

For early biographies see Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica, Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. I, p.383-8; William J. Maguire, Irish Literary Figures (1945), p.24ff. See also Brian Keenan, Turlough: A Novel (London: Jonathan Cape 2000), 331pp.

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Bibliographical details
Liam P. Ó Murchú, ed., Amhráin Chearbhallá / The Poems of Carolan: Reassessments [Irish Texts Society, Vol. 18] (Dublin: Irish Texts Society 2007), ix, 100pp. CONTENTS: Nicholas Carolan, ‘Carolan’s Music’; Emily Cullen, ‘Carolan, Bardic Disclosures and the Irish Harping Tradition in the 18th and 19th Centuries’; Joep Leerssen, ‘Last Bard or First Virtuoso?: Carolan, Conviviality and the Need for an Audience’; Lesa Ní Mhunghaile, ‘Carolan’s Verse’; Ruairí Ó hUiginn, ‘Tomás Ó Máille, Editor’.

 

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Commentary
Charles O’Conor (of Belanagare), obit. notice as MS E.ii.I f.85, dia Sathairn an xxv lá don Márta 1738: ‘Toirrdhealbhach Ó Cerbhulláin a tshai inntleachdach 7 priomh oirfideach ciúil na Ereann uile dfhaghail bhais aniu et a chur a dteampull Chille Rónain muintire Dhuibgennain san 68 bliadhain día sois. Trocaire co bhfagha a anmuin, oir bú riaghalta et bú craifech.’ [Trans., Turlogh Ó Carolan the intellectual sage and foremost performer of the music of all Ireland died to-day and was buried in the churchyard of Kilronan of the Ó Duigenan family in the 68th year of his age. May his soul find mercy for he was a good living man and devout.’ Sat. 25 Mar. 1838; given in Paul Walsh, Irish Men of Learning, 1947, ftn. p.2.

Alan Bliss: ‘The dividing line between the usurping planters and the native Irish was a complex one [...; p.52] Another possible influence which must not be overlooked is that of the travelling harpers (many of them blind) who visited the houses of the planters as well as those of the surviving Irish gentry. The most famous of these was Carolan (1670-1738), a close contemporary of Swift’s: Hardiman tells us that:

he always expected, and invariably received, that attention to which, in eveyr oint of view, he was so eminently entitled. At the houses where he visited, he waswelcomed more as a friend than as an itinerant minstrel. His visits were regarded as favours conferred, and his departure never failed to occasion regret. (Hardiman, Irish Minstrelsy, 1831, Vol. I, p.xliii; here p.53.)

[...] Carolan is known to have been a protégé, and apparently a friend, of Swift’s friend Dr Patrick Delany, Professor or Oratory at Trinity College, and it seems possible that Swift may have had some personal acquaintance with him.’ (In Dialogue in Hybernian Stile Between A & B & Irish Eloquence by Jonathan Swift [Irish Writings from the Age of Swift, No. 6], Dublin: Cadenus Press MCMLXXVII [1977], p.54. Note: Bliss adds in a note that Donal O’Sullivan ‘proceeds [in Carolan: the Life and Music of an Irish Harper, 1968] to draw some unwarrantable conclusion about the linguistic accomplishments of the planters: “they must have been thoroughly familiar with Irish, for we can hardly suppose that songs would hav been sung in their praise in a language that was unintelligible to them” (Vol. i, p.45.)’ (Bliss, p.54, n.11.)

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Sydney Owenson, The Wild Irish Girl (1806) - ‘[...] He was born in the village of Nobber, county Westmeath, in 1670, and died in 1739. He never regretted the loss of sight, but used gayly to say, “my eyes are only transplanted into my ears.“ Of his poetry, the reader may form some judgment from these examples: of his music, it has been said by O’Connor, the celebrated historian (who knew him intimately), “so happy, so elevated was he in some of his compositions, that he excited the wonder, and obtained the approbation, of a great master who never saw him, I mean Geminiani.” And his execution on the harp was rapid and impressive — far beyond that of all the professional competitors of the age in which he lived. The charms of women, the pleasures of conviviality, and the power of poesy and music, were at once his theme and inspiration; and his life was an illustration of his theory: for until its last ardour was chilled by death, he loved, drank, and sung. He was the welcome guest of every house, from the peasant to the prince; but, in the true wandering spirit of his profession, he never stayed to exhaust that welcome. He lived and died poor. While in the fervor of composition, he was constantly heard to pass sentence on his own effusions, as they arose from his harp, or breathed on his lips; blaming and praising with equal vehemence, the unsuccessful effort and felicitous attempt.’ (Letter IX, in Vol. II, ftn.; see full text of this chapter, in RICORSO Library, "Irish Classics", attached)

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James Hardiman, ‘Memoir of Carolan’, in Irish Minstrelsy (1831; IUP rep. edn. 1971), pp.xli-lviii - an account whcih includes remarks on Carolan’s production of verses in English to his own air [as] ‘Devotion’ for a Miss Fetherstone, since she knew no Irish; Hardiman claims the indulgence of the author ‘as the production of blind Irish bard, in the seventeenth century, and in a language foreign to him. Perhaps other foreigners, who attempted English composition, have not succeeded much better.’ [liv.] Cites Charles O’Conor’s Turlough O’Carolan, ‘On Saturday, 25th March, 1738, Turlough O’Carolan, the talented and principal musician of Ireland, died, and interred in Kilronan, the church of the Duignan family, in the 68th year of his age. May the Lord have mercy on her soul, for he was a moral and religious man.’ (Cat. Stow. MSS, Vol. I, p.146; p.lxiv-v; ftn.) Hardiman further relates that the skull of O’Carolan, having been disinterred at a time when a Catholic clergyman was buried by request in the same grave, was marked with a red ribbon by Thomas Dillon, br. of the Earl of Roscommon, and displayed in the church at Kilronan for some time after, until smashed with a pistol shot by an Orangeman who came specially for that purpose ‘only through the demoniac spirit of party rage which then disgraced this unhappy country.’ [lxvi]; commends Walker’s anonymous correspondent for the ‘well delineated’ account of his character in ‘Memoirs of the Irish Bards’ [lxvii]; repudiates accusation that he was a ‘reckless reveller’; ‘it is not, however, pretended, that he was a mere water drinker’ [lxvii].

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Laurence Whyte, ‘Dissertation on Italian and Irish Music’, in Poems on Various Subjects (1740), on Carolan, ‘The greatest Genius in his way,/An Orpheus, who could sing and play,/So great a Bard where can we find,/Like him illiterate, and blind’ (See under Whyte, q.v.)

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Frank Llewelyn Harrison: ‘Turlough Carolan […] found himself obliged to become a master-operator in an assortment of musical dialects while still being seen as the arch representative of the traditional role of the peripatetic harper.’ (‘Music, Poetry and Polity in the Age of Swift’, in Eighteenth-Century Ireland, I, 1986, pp.133-48; cited in Andrew Carpenter, ‘Changing Views of Irish Musical and Literary Culture in Eighteenth-centry Anglo-Irish Literature’, in Michael Kenneally, ed., Irish Literature and Culture, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1992, p.19.)

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Donal O’Sullivan, Carolan, 2 vols. (London: Routledge & KP 1958), quotes Hyde’s description of Carolan’s ‘A h-uiscí na n-anamann [Ode to Whiskey] as ‘one of the finest Bacchanalian songs in any language’.

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day Co. 1991), Vol. 1 - editorial remarks: ‘Carolan [et. al.] centre of cult that had worship and renewal of the past as its primary belief; those who wrote about Carolan - Goldsmith, Walker, Ferguson, Petrie - gave him a symbolic status and a significance that went far beyond anything warranted by his actual musical achievement. He was, above all things, a usable remnant, a figure of the past who was still able to create rather than simply reproduce Irish music ... more immediately attractive than the nine harpists gathered for the Belfast harp festival in 1792 though their music, particularly through Bunting and Moore’s Irish Melodies, was more influential [~&c.] (p.962; see further under References, infra).

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Michael Ó Suilleabháin, ‘Music, mediation, and the Irish psyche’, in Irish Journal of Psychology, ed., A. Halliday and K. Coyle, eds., ‘The Irish Psyche’ [special issue] 15, 2&3, 1994), pp.337f.: What we end up with is a music where we can hear frequent Italianate melodic sequences set in an Irish modal framework, wuth with the all-pervading power of the figured bass removed. … the last flowering of the old harp tradition … its own soundness lies in its sterile necromantic beauty’. (p.337)

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References
Charles A. Read, The Cabinet of Irish Literature ([1876-78); b. Baile-nusah or Newtown, Co. Westmeath; son of small farmer; acc. Goldsmith ‘seemed by nature formed for his professions, for as he was born blind, so also he was possessed of a most astonishing memory, and a facetious turn of thinking, which gave his entertainers [sic] infinite satisfaction’; in fact, lost sight at fifteen, due to smallpox; ed. Cruisetown, Co. Longford; met Bridget Cruise; moved to Carrick on Shannon with father; taken on by Mrs M’Dermott-Roe; taught the harp as an accomplishment; Charles O’Conor wrote, ‘he was above playing for hire; at the houses where he visited he was welcomed more as a friend than as an itinerant musician’; provided with coupe of horses and an attendant by his benefactress, on deciding to become a harper at 22; made pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Purgatory [Lough Derg] in middle life and recognised Bridget Cruise by her hand, ‘By the hand of my gossip! This is the hand of Bridget Cruise’; m. Miss Mary Maguire, haughty and extravagant; built (neat) house at Moshill, Co. Leitrim; liberal entertainer; swallowed up income from small farm; death of wife, 1733, drew out his monody [selected here]; final illness and at Mrs. M’Dermott-Roe’s brought on by drinking; Goldsmith, ‘at once a poet, a musician, and a composer, and sung his own verse to his harp’; of al the bards, ‘the last and greatest was Carolan the Blind’; though essentially Gaelic, his style had something of Italian in its manner [CAB]; few compositions extant; appended here, an elegy by McCabe, translated by Miss [Charlotte] Brooke [‘You came with friendship’s face, to glad my heart / But sad and sorrowful my steps depart! / In my friend’s stead - a spot of earth was shown / And on his grave my woe-struck eyes were thrown! [&c]’; ftn. gives circumstances of composition. Selection, Gentle Brideen [trans. George Sigerson]; Bridget Cruise [trans. Thomas Furlong]; Why, Liquor of Life [trans. John D’Alton]; On the Death of Mary Maguire [from J. C. Walker’s Irish Bards]; Song for Gracey Nugent [trans. Miss Brooke]; song for Mabel Kelly [trans. Miss Brooke].

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Dictionary of National Biography, O’Carolan or Carolan; blinded by smallpox, 1684; wanderings, 1692; ‘Gracey Nugent,’ ‘Bridget Cruise,’ ‘Receipt for Drinking,’ and ‘Planxty Stafford’; 50 pieces survived in Irish collections. And note, There is a portrait of Carolan by Francis Bindon [see Oxford Illustrated Irish History, 1989, p.298; also incl. in Ulster Museum Irish port. exhibition, intro. Anne Crookshank, 1965].

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Justin MacCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (Washington 1904), is a patent abbreviation of the entry in Cabinet of Irish Literature. Both make comparable reference to the excellence of his ‘Ode to Whiskey [Carolan’s Receipt]’ among ‘bacchanalian’ songs, as do the Claddagh sleeve notes [see Discography, supra.]

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COPAC lists (inter alia) Syllabus of the first commemoration of Carolan, consisting of ancient Irish melodies &c. &c. as performed at the Private Theatre in Fishamble-Street on ... September 20th, 1809, and ... at the Rotunda on ... 27th September 1809 in aid of the funds, and under the patronage, of the Irish Harp Society / [by] Irish Harp Society ; League of Nations Society of Ireland; Irish Free State National Conference on Calendar Reform (1809); A general collection of the ancient Irish music: containing a variety of admired airs never before published and also the compositions of Conolan and Carolan / collected from the harpers &c in the different provinces of Ireland, and adapted for the piano-forte, with a prefatory introduction by Edward Bunting (1810); A favorite collection of the so much admired old Irish tunes, the original and genuine compositions of Carolan, set for the pianoforte, violin and German flute (London: Broderip & Wilkinson 1799); The Castle of Andalusia. A Comic Opera [words by J. O.’Keefe] ... the Selected Airs by Handel, Vento, Giordani, Bertoni, Giardini, Dr Arne, & Carolan the Irish Bard. The Overture, Chorusses. New Airs &c. composed, by Dr Arnold [Op. XX] (1782).

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Brian de Breffny, Ireland: A Cultural Encyclopaedia (London: Thames & Hudson) The monument in St Patrick’s Cathedral, erected in 1824, is by John Hogan [the Younger] [p.55].

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day Co. 1991), Vol. 1: Swift’s ‘Description of an Irish Feast’ [p.399]; ref. to Laurence Whyte’s ‘A dissertation on Italian and Irish Musick, with some Panegyrick on Carollan our late Irish Orpheus’, in Poems on Various subjects, Serious and Diverting, Never Before Published (1740) 408-09, 410; Goldsmith, ‘The History of Carolan, the last Irish Bard’ (1760), the earliest published account (‘the natives never mention his name without rapture ... A song beginning O’Rourke’s noble fare ..’ translated by Dean Swift ... compared to Pindar ... the fifth concerto of Vivaldi [played perfectly by ear] 667-68; Swift and Carolan compared as cult figures [Deane, ed. remarks, 963]; Joseph Cooper Walker, from ‘The Life of Turlough O’Carolan’ (1786), 976-77; For Gracey Nugent, see Charlotte Brooke’s Reliques (1789) [981; also in Brooke, biog. 1008]. (See also editorial remarks, supra.)

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Notes
Bridget’s hand: Carolan made a pilgrimage to Lough Derg where reportedly be recognised the hand of his first love Bridget helping him from the boat.

Friends & Patrons: Carolan’s best friend was fellow-harper and drinking companion Charles MacCabe; his patrons incl. Terence MacDonough, a prominent Catholic lawyer. Of the O’Conors of Belanagare, he reputedly said, ‘my music never sounds sweeter than I play it in the house of the O’Conors

William Dunkin: In his “Dissertation upon Italian and Irish Music”, Dunkin eulogised Carolan as ‘an Irish Orpheus and an Irish Homer’.

Austin Clarke made a version of Carolan’s ‘Máible Ní Cheallaigh’ (Mabel Kelly), in which, the happy husband ‘sees the tumble of brown hair/Unplait[ed], the breasts, pointed and bare/when night-dress shows/From dimple to toe-nail/all Mabel glowing in it, here, there, everywhere.’ [See Flight from Africa].

John Montague cites Goldsmith’s “Carolan, the Irish Bard”, in ‘The Sentimental Prophecy: A Study of The Deserted Village, in Dolmen Miscellany of Irish Writing, eds., J. Montague & Thomas Kinsella (1962), p.62-80. (See also under Arthur Dawson (q.v.).

Eoghan Ó Tuairisc issued a musical drama based on the life of Carolan, produced at Damer Hall, 1979.

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Derek Bell (21 Oct. 1935-Oct. 2002), the most celebrated modern player of Carolan and co-founder and harpist in The Chieftains, d. in Phoenix, Arizona. He came from a family of traditional players in Belfast and learnt the harp from Sheila Larchet-Cuthbert at 30 and also played such obstruse instruments as the hammer dulcet, leading him to recreate the Irish tiompán with the help of Hngarian instructment makers. A solo album was called Derek Bell Plays with Himself (Claddagh 1981). He was awarded MBE in 2000. (See obituary in The Irish Times, 19 Oct. 2002.)

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Lady Morgan: A monument in bas-relief by Hogan, son of the better-known sculptor, done in Rome at Lady Morgan’s expense, is in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, north aisle; ‘By the desire of Lady MORGAN/To the memory of/CAROLAN/The Last of the Irish Bards./Obiit AD MDCCXXXVIII/ Aetatis Suae An LXVIII; his skull stolen from this Kilronan, and still preserved [at date of writing] in museum of Castle Caldwell, home of Sir John Caldwell; his harp in possession of The O’Conor Don. (See Alexander Leeper, DD, Historical Handbook of St Patrick’s Cathedral, 1891.)

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George Thomson: the Scottish publisher engaged Beethoven to set British and Irish folksongs to music, including Thomas Moore’s “The Last Rose of Summer”, to appear in Irish Airs, which was prefaced by the remarks: ‘If Carolan, the Irish bard, could raise his head and hear his own melodies sung in Beethoven’s accompaniments he would idolise the artist that could, from his designs, produce such exquisitely coloured and highly finished pictures .... the whole has been composed con amore, as if the author were to rest his fame upon it.’ (Quoted by in Irish Times, q.d.; cutting.)

Portraits: there is a sketch of Carolan in Watty Cox’s Magazine (Nov. 1806; rep. Oct. 1809); a plaque was erected by Lady Morgan in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin [as supra]; there is a bronze sculpture of Carolan, seated, by Melanie le Brocquy, held on loan at Clonalis House, Co. Roscommon.

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Where is he?: Belanagar [sic for Belanagare], the home of Charles O’Conor [q.v.] is given as address of Turlough Carolan in Charlotte Brooke’s Reliques [under “Gracey Nugent”].

Harps or harps? A replica of Carolan’s harp is to be found at Clonalis House, the home of the descendents of Charles O’Conor, built in 1857 and now occupied by the O’Conor-Nashes. It was put in place of the original which was given to the family by the harpist, and was removed to the National Museum of Ireland at the instance of Patrick Henchy, the Director of the National Library in the 1960s. There is a photo by Grainne Yeats of the harp in its museum setting.

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