With respect to the 19th century illustration mentioned above, it sounds more like a minstrel Tambo man. Beginning in 1843 the standard line-up of the minstrel band was tambourine and bones, fiddle and banjo with sometimes a triangle or accordian. The very first minstrel band toured throughout England and Scotland and they were followed by many more who inspired homegrown imitations. It was, at that time, quite the rage in the British Isles. Nearly all illustrations of that period show the tambourine being held and played almost like the bodhran is, and also being about the same size, say 14 inches or more, but no stick or beater is seen. It may have been played by the knuckles. Was the modern "traditional" Irish band inspired by mid-nineteenth century "Ethiopian" groups of the the US? Probably. Bluegrass was for sure. Its a connection that seems to have been disregarded.