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Ó Rócháin ‘a man of great vision and great courage’

Ó Rócháin ‘a man of great vision and great courage’

THE late co-founder of the Willie Clancy Summer School, Muiris Ó Rócháin was yesterday described as “a man of great vision, great courage, but a very humble man”.


At the packed funeral Mass for the 67-year-old Dingle native in Miltown Malbay yesterday, Mr Ó Rócháin long-time friend Harry Hughes told mourners that Muiris’ death “leaves a grievous void but leaves behind a lifetime of remarkable achievement”. Celebrating the Mass, Canon Seamus Mullen said “the people of Miltown Malbay and traditional musicians across the country owe an eternal debt of gratitude to Muiris”. Canon Mullen described the driving force behind the summer school over the last four decades as “a man of vision”. He said: “When Muiris was running the school, you would never think he was running the school, but he was. “He had that great quality of leadership where he was able to get the best out of people and make them welcome and make them all work together very quietly and very efficiently.” Canon Mullen said Muiris showed great courage in facing death. He said: “What a beautiful example Muiris was in life and in death.” At the end of the Mass, fiddle player Paddy Glackin paid tribute, stating that Muiris “had a great big Kerry heart which he shared with us, but more than that, he gave to us”.

During the Mass, the singing was led by Peadar O’Riada’s Coolea Choir while Muiris’ son Seamus played a lament on the uileann pipes. Former member of the Chieftains and piper, Sean Potts told the Mass: “Muiris O Rócháin’s legacy is the preservation of traditional Irish music and the Summer School in particular. He said: “And despite influences otherwise, we have to be very, very careful to cherish what Muiris Ó Rócháin has bequeathed to us. Never flinch and always going forward, ensuring the life of the Willie Clancy Summer School.” Paddy Glackin recalled his first visit to the school in 1977. He said: “I was completely struck by an atmosphere I had never found in traditional music. It was an atmosphere of non-competitive music playing. People there for the sake of music and enjoyment and learning. He said: “I was very, very struck by Muiris’s sense of purpose and his sense of loyalty to the core issues of traditional music. Mr Glackin said: “Muiris developed the school and he understood it wasn’t parochial even though the parish was quite central to it and he was all the time trying to develop new ideas.” Mr Ó Rócháin’s remains were later interred at Moy cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Una, daughter, Máire and son, Seamus.

Irish Examiner - Gordon Deegan
21 Deireadh Fómhair 2011

www.examiner.ie



Irish Examiner - Gordon Deegan

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