Irish Traditional Music

Part 1


Sliabh Luachra is recognised nationally and internationally as the bedrock of the traditional Irish Music, song, dance, poetry and culture and is the source and inspiration of some of the finest traditional musicians in the whole of Ireland. In the past the area was blessed with gifted music teachers whose names are legendary. While traditional music was played in the area for several hundred years, these gifted teachers such as Pádraig O’ Keeffe gave the music a ‘Draíocht’ and a feeling that came from the soul of its’ people. Other people of note from the area include Pádraig Ó’ Dúinnín 

Map of Sliabh Luachra


The mountainy area along the Cork/Kerry border is known as Sliabh Luachra and was the uninhabited wet, marshy, rushy, mountain area of the old Kingdom of Luachra first noted in the “Annals of Inisfallen” in 534 when the King of Luacar won a battle against Tuathal Moel nGarb

An Cathair Chraobhdhearg (The City) which was the first place in Ireland to be populated, is considered the centre of Sliabh Luachra, it is at the base of the twin mountains “An Dá Chich Dannan” the breasts of Danú (The Paps) and was the base of An Tuaithe De Dannan, who were an aristocracy of poets, artists, and musicians, who came to Ireland from Boeotia in Greece. 

Irish Horse-Wild
Wild Irish Horse

Discover Sliabh Luachra

One of the best ways to explore the culture of Sliabh Luachra is to travel the Sliabh Luachra Cultural Trail. The Sliabh Luachra Cultural Trail was developed as an attraction to showcase the wealth of traditional culture and heritage for which Sliabh Luachra is famed both near and far. Driving along quaint country roads and bohreens – through farmscapes and heath covered uplands you will be directed to points of cultural and historical significance. Many photo opportunities will no doubt present themselves along the way. Pastures, heathlands and modern forestry plantations form inspiring vistas which extend from northern hills to the Blackwater valley of the south where the mountains rise sharply skyward creating a majestic southern horizon. It is no wonder so many people were inspired to write songs, compose poetry and play music in this part of the world. Come to experience and explore this magical heritage landscape!

The Mc Gillicuddy Reeks -The Rough Guide Book

Pádraig Ó Caoimh (O’ Keeffe) (1887-1963)

Padraig O’Caoimh


Pádraig O Caoimh is probably the most important and influential Munster fiddle player of the 20th Century. He spent over 40 years going from house to house in the Sliabh Luachra area, teaching music to his pupils. He was a fast walker, often covering 30 miles daily in all types of weather but never failed to call into his local for a few pints. He demonstrated bowing and fingering techniques to his pupils, and wrote out tunes in his unique style and signed the sheets in Irish. 

You can book your Irish Music & Heritage Tour HERE

Below are a series of informative links with much more detail on the area & Music of Sliabh Luachra for you to read

Welcome To Sliabh Luachra

Duhallow CLG

The Rushy Mountain

The Padraig O’Keeffe Festival


The Irish Traditional Music Archiv

Irish Traditional Music Tune Index

Padraig O’Caoimh Video

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