Dan O’Leary

Dan O’Leary (1914-1987) was the uncle of Johnny O’Leary and likely got Johnny started with the music. Described as “a gentle, courtly, diffident, a soft-voiced man of slender frame and twinkling smile”, he was one of many accomplished but relatively unsung talents of Sliabh Luachra. In his youth it seems he got his music from Tom Billy as well as other more local influences. In 1977 he recorded “Traditional Music from the Kingdom of Kerry” with his Maulykeavane neighbor and longtime musical partner Jimmy Doyle. In the liner notes to that LP he recalls playing in his own home, for his own solitary pleasure, every night of the week. (“It takes away your worries, you know, you forget —-“) He’d hear a tune on the radio and play along with it and in two or three days he’d “have it.”

Learned from: Tom Billy Murphy

Taught: Johnny O’Leary

Played with: Jimmy Doyle


jimmy doyle and dan oleary 300


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