Subject: RE: Obit: Nora Butler|
Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 May 20 - 11:08 AM
Let's post the content of the obit in case it isn't a durable link:
The private funeral Mass of Nóra Butler, one of the leading lights of traditional Irish music took place in St Mary of the Rosary Church in Nenagh today followed by burial in Lisboney Lawn Cemetery. Fr Des Hillery was the main celebrant while Labhrás Ó Murchú, Ardstiúrthóir of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, gave the following eulogy:
'It is only two years since I stood on the altar of this beautiful church in Nenagh and bade farewell to our colleague and friend Pat Swan, loving husband of Nora Butler.
'It is heartbreaking that today we mourn the passing of Nora but in a very changed world. The thousands of people who would have wished to be with you for the celebration of Nora’s life cannot do so in this time of crisis. We will be there in prayer and spirit.
'To us in Brú Ború and Comhaltas, Nora was family and her passing has touched us deeply. The messages from all over the world are testimony to the affection and admiration in which she was held. There is an unfillable void in the lives of all who had the privilege to know her and call her friend. Many a tear has been shed by young and old. Úna and I will miss her so much.
'Nora’s sincerity, generosity of spirit and gentle but firm faith have inspired us all. Her sense of fun and humour melted many a cold heart. In addition to the villages, towns and cities of Ireland, she brought her God-given talents throughout the world: America, Australia, Japan, China, Libya and throughout Europe. The joy, camaraderie and goodness she dispensed cannot be measured. This is her legacy which will be promoted and enhanced by new generations. This is her living monument.
'To Mary we extend our heartfelt sympathy and we share her sorrow at this sad time. We know that she will be comforted by many happy memories and good friends.
'Tipperary’s Queen of Song has left us but Nora Butler will live on in fond memories and our fine traditional songs. Her name will never be far from the lips of those who cherish our cultural and Christian traditions.
'Ar dheis Dé go raibh Nora agus Pat.'
Tributes have been flowing in memory of the multi-award-winning local luminary, who was synonymous with Comhaltas throughout Ireland and abroad for most of her life. Born at Clash, Toomevara, Nóra was inspired to sing by her father Ned and grandfather Bill Butler. She was “on the road”, as she put it, ever since winning first prize in her first Fleadh Cheoil outing in Roscrea in 1964.
After that, the titles came thick and fast: All Ireland U18 champion in Boyle (1966) and Enniscorthy (1967); Senior All Ireland Champion in Cashel (1969), Listowel (1970) and Dublin (1971); ‘Fleadh Cheoil an Radio’ and ‘Search for a Balladeer’ winner in 1970. She also won numerous county Fleadh titles.
Among myriad other accolades, Nóra counted the distinction of ‘Eigse’ at the 2004 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Clonmel. More recently, she received the Annie McNulty Award at the 2013 South Roscommon Singers Festival.
That award followed soon after Nóra was honoured in New York for her contribution to Irish music in the US. Indeed, the Toome’ chanteuse flew the flag for Comhaltas all over the world, touring the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zeland with a Kerry-based group under the leadership of the late Diarmuid Ó Catháin, former president of Comhaltas. She even performed in Libya, singing in Tripoli on St Patrick's Day in 1976.
Nóra also performed at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010 as part of the Cashel-based Brú Ború group, with which she and her husband the late Pat Swan were closely associated over recent years. The musical couple also championed Rambling House at Nenagh Pastoral Centre, a hugely popular monthly event that drew guest musicians and storytellers from all over the country.
One of Nóra's greatest honours was the tribute concert held in recognition of her far-reaching contribution to music on the opening night of Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan in Nenagh in 2015. “I am very grateful that people have thought enough of me to do that!" Nóra said at the time. “Comhaltas has been a family to me over the years.”
Recording three music releases of her own over those years, Nóra had over 60 songs in her repertoire. She regarded ‘Blackbird of Sweet Avondale’ and ‘Cliffs of Dooneen’ among her personal favourites. She often sang duets with her husband Pat, a Dublin native, whom she married in 1988. The popular couple lived on Nenagh's Dublin Road, their home festooned with awards, medals and memorabilia from their years of making music.
Nóra was also known for singing with her twin sister Mary, and occasionally spoke of herself as being “The Twin Thrush of Toomevara!”
Expressing great sadness at Nóra's passing, Ormond Comhaltas described her as “an ever-present at all things Comhaltas and [she] was one of the great characters of Nenagh”.
Also among the many leaving tributes on Facebook, Ballycommon Comhaltas said “Nóra was respected and loved by so many people, young and not so young, across the country and further. Nóra had a gift of being generous and genuinely friendly to everyone she knew.”
Comhaltas in Britain remembered Nóra as “a cultural powerhouse, an incredible singer, an absolute lady in everything she did, but above all else, a close friend to many here in Britain and we were thrilled to welcome her here on many occasions”. Nenagh 800 noted that the local community has lost “a legend in Nenagh and far and wide”.
Predeceased by her beloved Pat and parents Ned and Mary, Nóra's passing is deeply regretted by her loving sister Mary (Hartnett), extended family, relatives, cousins, neighbours and many friends, and her dear colleagues in Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.