Connemara singer receives lifetime achievement award

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A Connemara singer, who came to global attention following his contribution to The Waterboys’ ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ album, has been presented with a lifetime achievement award, for his contribution to Gaeltacht culture.

Tomás Mac Eoin’s vocals on ‘The Stolen Child’ brought the 1988 album to a spellbinding conclusion.

The musical arrangement of a WB Yeats’ poem was recorded in An Spideál.

In his book, ‘Adventures of a Waterboy’ Mike Scott recalled how he had stumbled across the music of Tomás Mac Eoin, after buying a cassette of his recordings in the village, while the band were recording there.

He described his voice as “a sound hewn from rock yet full of a warm broken humanity”.

Now, the poet, singer, composer and entertainer has been presented with the annual Gradam RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

It is given in recognition to those who have made a significant contribution to the Gaeltacht and Irish language communities.

Mr Mac Eoin, who lives in An Cheathrú Rua, was presented with the award by broadcaster Máirtín Tom Sheáinín, who visited the singer at his home, to hand over a specially commissioned sculpture.

The award is usually given at the annual Oireachtas festival, which was due to take place in Galway this year.

The bronze work includes a musical stave with notes, the comedy and tragedy masks symbolising drama, and the Celtic Triskle.

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