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Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002

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John Moulden 07 Dec 02 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 07 Dec 02 - 06:55 AM
Áine 07 Dec 02 - 07:10 AM
banjomad (inactive) 07 Dec 02 - 07:22 AM
RoyH (Burl) 07 Dec 02 - 07:38 AM
nutty 07 Dec 02 - 07:43 AM
Big Mick 07 Dec 02 - 11:02 AM
grumpy al 07 Dec 02 - 01:01 PM
Ballyholme 09 Dec 02 - 12:59 PM
David Ingerson 09 Dec 02 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Neil Comer 09 Dec 02 - 06:56 PM
Paddy Plastique 10 Dec 02 - 04:50 AM
Noreen 10 Dec 02 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,derrymacash 10 Dec 02 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,Philippa 10 Dec 02 - 08:05 AM
GUEST 10 Dec 02 - 08:24 AM
Paddy Plastique 10 Dec 02 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 10 Dec 02 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 10 Dec 02 - 02:05 PM
Fleadhman 10 Dec 02 - 02:52 PM
Abby Sale 10 Dec 02 - 06:15 PM
Noreen 10 Dec 02 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 11 Dec 02 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,Philippa 11 Dec 02 - 02:45 PM
ard mhacha 11 Dec 02 - 04:52 PM
MartinRyan 12 Dec 02 - 06:01 PM
Art Thieme 12 Dec 02 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,Philippa 13 Dec 02 - 08:41 AM
GUEST 13 Dec 02 - 08:55 AM
John Moulden 15 Dec 02 - 06:12 AM
GUEST 23 Dec 02 - 12:40 PM
ard mhacha 23 Dec 02 - 02:03 PM
pattyClink 23 Dec 02 - 02:06 PM
Felipa 06 Feb 03 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,Michael Tunney 09 Feb 03 - 07:04 PM
Noreen 09 Feb 03 - 07:38 PM
David Ingerson 10 Feb 03 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Philippa 02 Sep 05 - 10:38 AM
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Subject: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: John Moulden
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 06:49 AM

I regret to announce that Paddy Tunney, Fermanagh/Donegal traditional singer, died last night. He had been ill for a short time. The funeral will take place, I believe, in Letterkenny, Co Donegal on Monday.

Throughout his life Paddy was a source of songs and a model for singers across the world.

John Moulden


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 06:55 AM

Sad news, a great loss to the world of Irish folk music. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Áine
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 07:10 AM

So many songs, so little time to sing them . . . Sad news indeed. He will be missed, but always remembered.

Le meas, Áine


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: banjomad (inactive)
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 07:22 AM

Peace go with you Paddy.
Dave


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 07:38 AM

What truly sad news. He was one of the greats and will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace Paddy.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: nutty
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 07:43 AM

Very sad news but I'm sure he'll get a send-off worthy of his staus amongst the greats on the Irish folk music scene.
Yes .... he will be remembered.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 11:02 AM

Oh how he will be missed. A good man and great singer. Makes one realize how very important it is to keep our songs and stories alive. Good man, Paddy. We will listen for your voice in others.

God be good to him.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: grumpy al
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 01:01 PM

another "great" gone and sadly missed

grumpy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Ballyholme
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 12:59 PM

The term "legend" is sometimes overworked following the death of great musicians but in the case of Paddy Tunney the term almost seems inadequate. His talent as a singer, the expanse and the quality of his repertoire and his overall presence have had an immense influence on several generations of Irish singers and in times to come he will continue to be the singer by whom others are judged.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: David Ingerson
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 04:27 PM

What a great sorrow. I have the honor (and luck) to be able to say I learned some of my songs directly from him. He was passionate about singing and about songs. He was also very careful about being inclusive in sessions he was involved in. I was feeling a little timid (being a yank just learning the sean nos) in one session during the fleadh (sp?) in Killkenny many years ago. He noticed and asked me for a song.

A huge loss. May the sod lie lightly . . . .

David


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,Neil Comer
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 06:56 PM

Mo bhrón go bhfuil Paddy Tunney ar shlí na fírinne- i measc na nGael go raibh a anam uasal.
Very sorry to hear of Paddy Tunney's death.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Paddy Plastique
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 04:50 AM

Sad to hear the news. I listen to a song or 2 of his almost every day off a couple of tapes. If there are any obituaries going, can those in Ireland please post up links,

His bonny boat is sailing...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Noreen
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 07:14 AM

I learned so many songs from Paddy, mostly from his LPs which I played constantly in my teens. Any recorded traditional songs were like gold dust then, and his recordings were pure gold.

Very sad news.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,derrymacash
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 07:51 AM

Rest in peace, Paddy.

I'll give Tandragee a lash tomorrow night in your honour!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 08:05 AM

rep;ying to Paddy Plastique
The Derry Journal today devotes over half a tabloid-size page to Paddy, including a photo of his sons carrying the coffin. The sons look very like their father and I know at least one of them sings as I remember him at sessions with his father (this may have been at Fleadh Rince agus Amhrán in Ballycastle, Co Antrim?). The Derry Journal reports that "Members of the Tunney family sang 'The Mountain Streams'" [where the moorcocks crow].

The Derry Journal has a website, but I don't know whether this article is in the on-line edition. The Irish News and Irish Times should have carried tributes; I think their websites are now subscriber only - I leave others to verify this information.

Maurice Leyden devoted most of Sunday night's "Fokal Point" on Downtown Radio, DTR, Newtownards (near Belfast) to songs sung by Paddy Tunney and to other singers singing songs learnt from Paddy. "Fokal Point" can be heard on-line, and I know stations often archive their programmes on-line for a week, so maybe you can hear this too.

Paddy's parting gift to us is the manuscript of a book "Sing Another Song", which I hope will be published next year.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 08:24 AM

Paddy's son John sings, and indeed, is carrying on the family tradition with his work--it has not ended with Paddy, so everyone can at least be heartened by that. I'm hopeful John will eventually see to the publication of the book.

Just an aside, Paddy was actually born in Glasgow, and also lived for many years in London.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Paddy Plastique
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 08:42 AM

Thanks Philippa for the wee write-up - that's the problem - too many subscriber-only sites for Irish papers. Greedy sods.. Isn't there another book of his - is it 'The Stone Fiddle' ? Dunno if it's in print or not.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 10:44 AM

Oddly enough, I haven't yet seen mention of his death in the Irish Times.

"The Stone Fiddle" is, indeed, still readily available.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 02:05 PM

Paddy P,you are right,, too many bloody greedy Newspapers in Ireland nearly all subscriber only Sites.
And nothing yet in The Irish News, better chance of an obituary if he had been some junkie pop-singer. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Fleadhman
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 02:52 PM

I had the honour of knowing and singing with Paddy and John for many years and indeed adjudicating with them both at this years All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil. Men of his calibre are few and far between. Go ndeana Dia trocaire ar a anam dilish.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Abby Sale
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 06:15 PM

The Irish Times had the following from its search page
Irish Times Article - Unsung hero of traditional music revival
Sean Seery, who has died aged 76, was one of the unsung heroes of the Irish traditional music revival. A first-class uilleann piper whose forte was the slow air, he was a stalwart of the Dublin Pipers' Club in ...
published: 07/12/2002
etc

I think most of the local papers are weeklys and possibly obits won't begin until Friday. They all seem to come out on Fridays.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Noreen
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 08:53 PM

I sang The Mountain Streams where the Moorcocks Crow tonight for Paddy, followed by Donal Maguire singing the only song ever written that contains the word transsubstanciation...
A very good night, and Paddy was remembered.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 11:36 AM

The Irish News 11th Dec, has a small item on Paddy.
"The funeral took place this week in Letterkenny Co Donegal of Paddy Tunney- one of the best know traditional Irish singers and raconteurs.
A native of Muleek, near Belleek in Co Fermanagh.
Born in Scotland and reared in Co Fermanagh. Mr Tunney spent most of his like in Letterkenny after moving to the Town in 1950.
Famed for his collecting and singing of traditional Irish songs, his book The Stone Fiddle proved immensely popular running to several re-prints.
His other publications included Where songs do thunder.
Music and song at the Funeral Mass was provided by members of the Tunney Family, they included on of his favourite songs, The Mountain streams, which was sang at his graveside, an oration was given by Seamus MacMathuna of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann"..Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 02:45 PM

nobaody has mentioned here that Paddy already issued a follow-up to the Stone Fiddle, "Where Songs do Thunder"

Probably more will be written/said about Paddy Tunney anon; sometimes newspapers publish a personal "appreciation" some time after a person has died. I saw one a couple of months after a community worker I knew died of throat cancer. I knew he'd been ill but had been out of touch and hadn't heard of his death and I didn't know what to write to his widow after that gap in time.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: ard mhacha
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 04:52 PM

Mentioned above Philippa. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 06:01 PM

There's a brief obit and a nice photo at the Musical Traditions website HERE

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 09:15 PM

Mr. Tunney's version of "The Lowlands Of Holland" was the best this old American folkie has ever heard. It stayed with me for years but I was never able to come close to doing his grace notes and small ornamentations to my own satisfaction. Then, one day, I tried accompanying myself on the 5-string banjo. The hammer-ons and the pull-offs possible on that instrument were perfect for this great small song which left so much unsaid even while tossing out gloriously enigmatic little semantic hints at something bigger going on. It was better, in it's brevity, than more complete versions with 20 verses.
I was always one who needed to hit the notes on my instrument first--just a fraction of a second before I sang it----in order to stay somewhere near the melody. I followed my picking on my banjo or guitar like I might follow a pitch pipe.

Now that I'm unable to pick much of anything at all, there is no way I can begin to do this fine golden fragment of a song----but the tune and the graceful nuances Paddy Tunney saved on vinyl for us will be with me for a long old while I suspect.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 08:41 AM

yes, Derry Journal does have an article about Tunney on line in today's edition http://www.derryjournal.com/fullnewsde.asp?DJID=16736

I think it will be available for a week.
Both the Belfast Telegraph and the Derry Journal are available to all on-line, but as far as I can see they don't archive material; I didn't see a way to access past issues.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 08:55 AM

other on-line reports

http://www.hootenannypower.com/pages/644281/index.htm :

"Paddy Tunney, Fermanagh/Donegal traditional singer, died Friday, Dec. 6, 2002, in Ireland, following a brief illness. The funeral will take place on Monday, Dec. 9, in Letterkenny, County Donegal. Paddy Tunney was born in Glasgow in 1921, and returned as a child to Ireland. He had a unique, highly decorated style of singing, acquired from his mother, Brigid Tunney. In 1943 he was imprisoned for seven years in Belfast for IRA activities."

Unless you subscribe to the Irish News on-line all you can read of 11 Dec. 2002 report is, "The funeral took place in Letterkenny this week of Paddy Tunney – one of Ireland's best known traditional Irish singers and raconteurs."
http://www.irishnews.com/access/archivesearch/category.asp?cat=540

http://www.pipers.ie/en/news.lasso (after a month, the news won't be current but you can check the archive):
08 Dec 2002 by Terry Moylan
"The death occurred on Friday of Paddy Tunney, the noted traditional singer. Paddy was one of the most important singers, collectors and creative voices within the song tradition in Ireland. Through his own superb singing style, his collecting of songs, and his publishing - "The Stone Fiddle" and "Where Songs do Thunder" - he sustained and encouraged song and singing in Ireland when there was very little audience for it. He often added lines or verses to the songs he sang, to repair them or to extend their scope. His additions were usually un-detectable, so sure an ear had he for the traditional style. It would be hard to find someone with his energy, inspiration and love for the tradition to take his place.
Na Píobairí Uilleann extend our sympathies to his family and friends."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: John Moulden
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 06:12 AM

Thank you all for your contributions; Paddy's memory deserved them. I'm glad to say however that I know of several songs in the Irish tradition and on Irish originated ballad sheets which use the word "transubstantiation" - mostly they are songs about young Irish men and women who have fallen in love but find an impossible impediment in their different ways of practising Christianity. As such they are contentious in Ireland. The next Inishowen [Co Donegal]International Traditional Singing Festival has the theme "Religious Songs" I will be giving a talk on songs of religious contention. It will feature recordings of Paddy Tunney and I intend to dedicate it to his memory.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 02 - 12:40 PM

The Irish Times finally managed to print an obituary on Saturday 21st Irish Times. Access to their web site is by subscription, so here's the text.
Stephen



A lover of old ways and rare songs

         
      
Paddy Tunney: Paddy Tunney, who has died aged 81, was one of Ireland's foremost traditional singers. He was also a champion lilter, an entertaining raconteur, and a talented writer.

He drew from an enormous store of songs. Benedict Kiely recounted listening to him, "sing the night through in a house in Clontarf, all the night through on cups of tea, singing from the heart and never once repeating himself". Ewan McColl described him as "the greatest lyrical folk-singer in the English language". To Paul Brady he was "a giant".

He grew up in a "rambling house" frequented by traditional musicians, dancers and storytellers. He began singing, on his grandfather's knee, at the age of four. His mother, herself a renowned source singer, then took him in hand and taught him to lilt and sing. "She never gave me a song until she considered I was able to sing it properly."

He can be heard at his best on two albums, recorded when he was in his prime, The Man of Song (1962) and A Wild Bee's Nest (1965). His renditions of Moorloch Mary, Mountain Streams Where the Moorcock Crows and Highland Mary are regarded as the definitive versions. His singing had clear links with the instrumental tradition, incorporating runs, stops and grace notes, much like pipe and fiddle music. He was an unapologetic purist. "A dedicated hater of pop and cant and shamrockery," he was a lover of "old ways and rare songs and raving poetry".

Paddy Tunney was born on January 28th, 1921, in Glasgow, one of the eight children of Patrick Tunney and his wife, Brigid (née Gallagher). He grew up in Mulleek (Mew-lick), near Beleek, Co. Fermanagh.

He attended Derryhallow Public Elementary School. During a visit by a school inspector, Mr Doak, the teachers were taken aback when a "song of the people" was requested. The young Paddy Tunney stepped forward and sang "Boolavogue" with all the fire and feeling that he could muster. The teachers were petrified. When he had finished singing the inspector thanked him and gave him half-a-crown. "Tis a pity," Mr Doak remarked dryly to the teachers, "a great pity. You know we should be teaching history in the schools."

When the Irish Press started publication, it included a weekly feature for children by Roddy the Rover. Prizes were offered for poems, rhymes and pieces of local history. Paddy Tunney was one of the first prizewinners. By the time he had progressed to Ballyshanny Technical School, he was a local correspondent for the Donegal Democrat. At Ballyshanny he found "new heights of learning to be scaled". He was enthralled with Tolstoy's Resurrection, loaned to him by his English teacher, although he was uncomfortable about encountering strumpets in a classic work of literature. "The word prostitute was almost as detestable as that of Protestant in those enlightened days." Family circumstances forced him to cut short his formal education and at 14 he took a job as a tea-boy with the forestry workers in Castlecaldwell demesne. On his promotion to lumberjack, he felled trees, which were then cut and prepared for use as pit props in British coalmines. He later found better-paid employment as a road-roller flagman with Fermanagh County Council.

He joined the IRA in his late teens. In 1943 he was arrested in Enniskillen and sentenced to seven years penal servitude for the possession of explosives.

He resumed his education in Crumlin Road prison, studying Irish history and language. He became so engrossed in reading War and Peace that he continued to read after lights out, availing of the sliver of light through the peephole.

Fearing for his eyesight, the prison governor granted him an extra hour's light on condition that he discontinue the practice.

Following his release from prison, after serving four-and-a-half years of his sentence, he moved to Dublin where he qualified from UCD as a public health inspector.

In 1955 his work took him to Letterkenny where he and his wife, a public health nurse, joined forces to counter the conditions that assisted the spread of TB. The disease claimed more lives in Donegal than the Famine, and Paddy and Síle Tunney played a major role in bringing it under control.

He transferred to Galway for seven years before returning to Letterkenny in 1982.

He began broadcasting, first on Raidió Éireann and later on the BBC, working closely with Seán Mac Réamoinn and Seán O Boyle. Programmes like Nine Counties of Ulster and Music On The Hearth introduced the old songs to a new audience.

He continued to broadcast, collaborating with Ciarán MacMathúna on Ulster Folk for Raidió Éireann in the 1980s, and was recently the subject of a programme in the TG4 series, Sé Mo Laoch. He also featured in an award-winning BBC documentary.

He made a total of eight solo albums and can be heard on Where the Linnets Sing, with his mother, sons and daughter.

In 1967 he accepted a long-standing invitation from Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger to make the first of many British tours. He was a special guest of McColl's in a benefit concert for the miners during the epic strike of 1984-5. He toured the United States as part of the bicentenary celebrations in 1976, touring again in 1981. He regularly performed at the Tradition Club in Dublin.

Ever eager to expand his repertoire, he learned songs from Geordie Hanna, Len Graham, Gerry Hicks, Liam Anderson and Frank Harte. Singers were often reluctant to give the source of a song. Paddy Tunney remembered one who, under pressure, eventually blurted out, "I was courtin' a girl and I stole it out of her pocket". Among the singers influenced by Paddy Tunney were Dolores Keane, John Faulkner, Dick Gaughan, Andy Irvine and Geordie McIntyre. He was always ready to encourage emerging talent and conducted master classes for young singers.

He counted Seamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy among his friends and wrote a song in memory of Ennis following the piper's death.

He was a staunch supporter of the GAA and a mainstay of Feis Thír Chonaill. He enjoyed fishing, not for therapy but to put fish - particularly trout - on the table. Late in life he mastered the computer.

His publications include the autobiographical The Stone Fiddle: My Way to Traditional Song, a selection of songs and stories, Where Songs Do Thunder, Ulster Folk Tales for Children and two volumes of poetry. He also wrote plays for radio and translated the poems of the Spanish mystic, St John of The Cross, into Irish.

He is survived by his wife, Síle; sons, Paddy, Cathal, Michael and John; and daughters, Brigid and Maura.

Paddy Tunney: born, January 28th, 1921; died December 7th, 2002.




© The Irish Times


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: ard mhacha
Date: 23 Dec 02 - 02:03 PM

Thank you Guest for your contribution, a lovely tribute. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: pattyClink
Date: 23 Dec 02 - 02:06 PM

Thanks to all who posted stories about Mr. Tunney's life.   I didn't realize how many 'straight jobs' he held down to make his way, it's encouraging to all us wage-slaves.

I thought the Stone Fiddle was reprinted a few years ago, but I never got my backordered copy. Did the project fall through?

Wonder if anybody's got access to extra copies that could be Mud-Auctioned?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Felipa
Date: 06 Feb 03 - 06:21 PM

another biographical articleis at at http://www.iol.ie/~ronolan/


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,Michael Tunney
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 07:04 PM

Hello from Michael, third son of Paddy, " the man of songs".
I was scrolling thru your conversations of the last month tonight and was greatly taken by your respect, appreciation and love of the Da. His illness was vey short - just two weeks from diagnosis to death but he died beautifully in my mothers arms. Two nights before we - Paddy, John, Brigid, Maura nad I sat around his bed and we sang for over an hour with him. He loved life and living and loved music, song and tradition. His third book , which he delivered to the publishers a week before he became ill, will be out in the spring and we are looking forward to that.
Michael


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 07:38 PM

Thank you Michael, it's a great pleasure to hear from you.
Please keep us posted about the new book.

Noreen Keene
Manchester,
UK


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: David Ingerson
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for posting, Michael. Your Da earned all the respect we could give him, and more, too. Just two nights ago, I closed our Portland, Oregon song circle with his version of "Kind Friends and Companions" and told about how Paddy clinked his tea cup with each singer's beer glass in turn around the circle to that song at the end of a session at the Kilkenny Fleadh so many years ago.

May the sod lie lightly.... And may the tradition continue to flourish!

David


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Subject: RE: Obit: Paddy Tunney 1921-2002
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 10:38 AM


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