Donegal fiddle legend's funeral today in County Clare

Traditional music world to pay their respects to the late Tommy Peoples

Michael Daly


Michael Daly


Donegal fiddle legend's funeral today in County Clare

The late Tommy Peoples Picture: Brian McDaid

The funeral takes place today in Ennis of renowned Donegal fiddle player and composer, Tommy Peoples.

Tommy was waked over the weekend at his home in Kinnycally, St Johnston where there were many callers paying tribute to a man regarded as one of the finest fiddle players in the country.

His funeral will take place today at 12 noon at Ennis Cathedral with burial afterwards to Drumcliffe Cemetery.

President Michael D. Higgins, extending his sympathy to the family and friends of Tommy, said he was regarded as “a master of his craft”:

“Regarded as a master of his craft, Tommy enchanted audiences at home and abroad with his unique style of music, playing with the Kilfenora Band and the Bothy Band and many other legendary figures in the world of Irish music.”

There have been many, many tributes to Tommy, among them a salute from Liam Ó Maonlaí and the Hothouse Flowers playing on Saturday night in Ballyshannon.

He was born near St Johnston in 1948, into a musical family. His grandfather, Jimmy Peoples, his uncles Mattha and George Peoples and some cousins such as Joe Cassidy and Bob Peoples were fiddle players.

An original founder member of The Bothy Band, he was recognised by his peers for his musical genius.

He was awarded the first TG4 Traditional Musician of the Year Award in 1998.

In 2013 he received the Composer of the Year award, becoming the first to receive a second Gradam in the TG4 awards.

He was the Traditional Musician In Residence at The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey and his contribution to Donegal fiddle playing, he was famed for his East Donegal playing style, was recognised by Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí.

Mr Peoples was predeceased by his son Tommy junior. He is survived by his wife Maria, daughters Siobhan, Neasa and Grainne, sons Cronan and Lochlann, his devoted friend and carer Julie Costello Pichellis, son in law, nine grandchildren, great grandchild, his sisters Monica (Gibson) and Mary (Gallagher), nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

May he rest in peace.