Belfast Telegraph

Trailblazing folk musician Arty McGlynn is laid to rest

Arty McGlynn’s wife Nollaig Casey, family and friends at Sacred Heart Church in Omagh for the funeral of the musician
Arty McGlynn’s wife Nollaig Casey, family and friends at Sacred Heart Church in Omagh for the funeral of the musician
Arty McGlynn’s wife Nollaig Casey, family and friends at Sacred Heart Church in Omagh for the funeral of the musician
Arty McGlynn’s wife Nollaig Casey, family and friends at Sacred Heart Church in Omagh for the funeral of the musician
Arty McGlynn
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

One of Ireland's most gifted musicians was laid to rest at the weekend.

Arty McGlynn passed away in hospital in Enniskillen on Wednesday at the age of 75.

Born into a musical family in Omagh in 1944, he went on to play alongside artists such as Van Morrison, Enya, Planxty and fiddle player Nollaig Casey.

His funeral was held at Sacred Heart Church in Omagh on Saturday followed by burial at St Mary's Cemetery in Drumragh.

Mr McGlynn played guitar on Morrison's critically acclaimed 1989 album Avalon Sunset. He also played on 1983's Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart and 1995's Days Like This.

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Arty McGlynn’s wife Nollaig Casey, family and friends at Sacred Heart Church in Omagh for the funeral of the musician

He first began playing the accordion before being given a guitar by his mother when he was 11.

Soon he started playing professionally with bands and eventually went on to tour with various artists throughout the Sixties and Seventies.

Mr McGlynn was also in demand as a session musician for recordings with various artists.

His 1979 album McGlynn's Fancy is widely credited with bringing the guitar into the mainstream of Irish traditional music. It led to greater prominence on the Irish musical scene and Mr McGlynn became in demand among traditional and folk musicians.

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Arty McGlynn

He also worked with such names as Christy Moore, Frances Black, Paul Brady and John Carty. Mr McGlynn's collaboration with wife Nollaig led to two well-received albums - Lead The Knave and Causeway - and their music was featured on the soundtracks for films Moondance and Hear My Song.

In the wake of the 1998 Omagh bombing Mr McGlynn was one of a number of local artists to perform at a charity concert to raise funds for the victims.

Following his death last Wednesday singer Paul Brady and composer Phil Coulter led tributes to the renowned musician.

Mr Brady said he was heartbroken to have said goodbye to his "dear friend and musical sparring partner".

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Arty McGlynn’s wife Nollaig Casey, family and friends at Sacred Heart Church in Omagh for the funeral of the musician

Mr Coulter described his friend as a "monster musician and a real gent", who redefined the role of the guitar in Irish music.

Singer Tommy Sands added that Mr McGlynn's "humour and genius" was sought by musicians from Liam Og O'Flynn to Van Morrison.

In 2016 Mr McGlynn was honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to music by Irish language channel TG4.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters and three sons.

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