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The Tulla Céilidh Band: the Heart of the Tradition by Barry Taylor

Classified Listing of Members of Tulla Céilidh Band 1946 - 1996


Dwelling while in band




P. Joe Hayes

Maghera, Co. Clare

Ever present in Band 1946 - 96. Leader for nearly fifty years.

Paddy Canny

Maghera, Co. Clare

Founder member; winner of all-Ireland fiddle 1953; made first LP rec. of Irish traditional music (with PJH); recorded one of the last 78s records issued.

Bert McNulty

Tulla, Co. Clare

a garda based in Tulla; originally from Foxford, Co. Mayo.

Aggie Whyte

Ballinakill, Co. Galway

Member of a leading musical family; uncle played with the Ballinakill Traditional Dance Players (Céilí Band); native of Ballinakill, Co. Galway.

Francie Donnellan

Kilkishen, Co. Clare

Member of the Band in early days, retired to bring up family, rejoined in late 1980s (replacing M. Murphy); now plays regular duets with P. Joe Hayes.

Bobby Casey

Mullagh, Co. Clare

Famous musician from Crosses of Annagh, Mullagh; father (Scully) taught Junior Crehan; domiciled in London since early 1950s; made several recordings inc. ‘Paddy in the Smoke’, ‘Taking Flight’, ‘Casey in the Cowhouse’.

Jack Shaugnessy

Tubber. Co. Galway


Dr. Bill Loughnane

Feakle, Co. Clare

Well known and respected doctor from Feakle.

Seán Reid

Ennis, Co. Clare

Born in Castlefinn, Co. Donegal; moved to Co. Clare 1937 to work with County Council; studied pipes with John Potts & Leo Rowsome; prominent in revival of Dublin Pipers Club & formation of CCE and Na Piobaire Uillean, Willie Clancy School; leader of Band 1947 -     

Michael Murphy

Ennistymon, Co. Clare

Played in both Kilfenora and Tulla Bands..

Martin Hayes (and banjo)

Maghera, Co. Clare

Winner of All-Ireland Championships in all age groups (plus many other competitions, both solo, duet and trios); often played banjo in Band; now lives in USA, regular tours all over world; many solo Cds; one of the most exciting and innovative traditional musicians of recent years.

Mark Donnellan

Kilkishen, Co. Clare

Son of Francie Donnellan



Paddy O'Donaghue

Bodyke, Co. Clare

Played in Ballinahinch Céilidh Band (with Martin Rochford) before joining Tulla; still playing around Co.Clare

Jim O'Donaghue

Bodyke, Co. Clare

Played in Ballinahinch Céilidh Band (with Martin Rochford) before joining Tulla.

Jack Murphy

O’Callaghans Mills, Co. Clare

Played during late 1940s

Willie Clancy (and pipes)

Milltown Malbay, Co. Clare

First learned flute from father (Gilbert), who was influenced by blind piper Garrett Barry; took up pipes in late 30’s after hearing Johnny Doran (first set from Felix); spent 4 years in London (53-57); played with Laichtin Naofa; died 1973; Summer School held in his honour.

Martin Talty

Milltown Malbay, Co. Clare

Lifelong friend of WC., played pipes, flute, whistle; one of the founders of Laichtin Naofa and WC School.

Michael Preston

Cruisin, Co. Clare

Originally from Co. Sligo; emigrated to USA.

Seamus Cooley

Peterswell, Co. Galway

Brother of Joe; emigrated to USA where Joe and Seamus played in a céilidh band together.

Peter O'Loughlin

Kilmaley, Co. Clare

Talented multi-instrumentalist; also excellent fiddle player & piper; made an early recording in duet with Aggie Whyte; appears on PJH/PC LP; also LP with Ronan Browne: ‘The South-West Wind’

J. C. Talty

Milltown Malbay, Co. Clare

Long-serving member of Band; also played in Laichtin Naofa; won All-Ireland pipe Championship in 1960.

J. J. Conway

Kilfenora, Co. Clare

Played with both Kilfenora and Tulla; occasional vocals with Band.

Jennifer Lenihan

Kilkishen, Co. Clare

Plays on 50th. Anniversary CD.

button accordion


Joe Cooley

Peterswell, Co. Galway

Founder member; finally emigrated to USA in early 50s; very influential musician.

Paddy O'Brien

Co. Tipperary

His 78s issued in early 1950s influenced whole generations of accordion players

Paddy McNamara

Cruisín, Co. Clare

Brother of Joe, played until 1965

Joe McNamara

Cruisín, Co. Clare

Brother of Paddy, replaced by Mattie Ryan in 1960

Martin Mulhare

Eyrecourt, Co. Galway

From a family of musicians; visited USA in 1958 with Band and stayed; plays on Dublin LP; composed scores of tunes, many of which have entered traditional repertoire; excellent cassette with Jack Coen, Seamus Connolly on Green Linnet (1993);

Mattie Ryan

Tulla, Co. Clare

Long-serving member of Band; still plays around East Clare

Tony MacMahon

Ennis, Co. Clare

Renowned box player, influenced by the playing of Joe Cooley; producer of programmes on traditional music for RTE.

Michael McKee

Feakle, Co. Clare

Long-serving present member of Band; also doubles as ‘sound man’

Andrew MacNamara

Tulla, Co. Clare

Well-known as both a solo musician and member of several well-known bands (inc Skylark, etc.); brother of concertina player Mary McNamara.

Sean Conway

Ennistymon, Co. Clare


Joe Sheehan

Ballinacally, Co. Clare

Played 1987 - 1990; Now in USA

Sean Donnelly

Abbey, Co. Galway

Latest in a long line of excellent box players from ‘over the border’; native of Abbey; played in many céilidh bands (inc the famous Leitrim Band)

Conor Keane

Kilmaley, Co. Clare

Now resident in West Clare and a regular at Gleesons, Coore.

Seamus Bugler

Mountshannon, Co. Clare

Occasional player with Band; regularly plays at ‘Lena’s Bar’, Feakle

Pat McNamara

Dangan, Tulla, Co. Clare




Teresa Tubridy

Tulla, Co. Clare

Founder of the Band; was a schoolteacher at the time and sister of Mrs Cunningham, organiser of Feile Luiminigh.

Seán Reid

Ennis, Co. Clare

See under fiddles.

Jim Corry

Tulla, Co. Clare

Occasional player with Band; plays on 50th. Anniversary CD.

George Byrt

Ennistymon, Co. Clare

Replaced Sean Reid when SR moved to fiddle; Member of the musical Byrt family; played with numerous céilidh bands; family formed basis of Corcomroe CB.



Jack Keane

Clarecastle, Co. Clare

First regular drummer; played from 1955 to 1961

Jack Cooley

Peterswell, Co. Galway


Sean Keane


Martin Garrihy

Co. Galway


Jack McDonnell

Broadford, Co. Clare


Michael Flanagan

Bartra, Lahinch, Co. Clare

1977 to present



Martin Vaughan

Milltown Malbay, Co. Clare

First regular vocalist: 1962; appeared on 3 HMV LPs.

Fiachra Haren

Ennis, Co. Clare


Michael Whyte

Ennistymon, Co. Clare

Appeared on GTD cassette.

Helen Hayes

Maghera, Co. Clare

Daughter of P. Joe Hayes.


Tulla Céilidh Band: Heart of the Tradition