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“….I picked up bits and pieces that my father played. I had
it all from listening to music. My head was bursting with the music but
I had no way of playing it. But then my father gave in and gave me his
House dances were very popular at the time and Kitty often accompanied her father to these dances. As she became older, she began to play with the other musicians at these house dances. It was at one of these dances that she met her husband, Josie Hayes. Josie was a flute player and a member of the Laichtín Naofa Céilí Band. After they married and started their family, Kitty found that she had no time or energy to play music, so she stopped playing for a period of about 45 years.
Kitty’s husband died in 1992. Soon after this, her son Joe was
diagnosed with cancer, so Kitty spent much of the next while visiting
and spending time with him in England, where he lived. It was then that
Kitty was coaxed into picking up the concertina again. She credits her
son with giving her the encouragement to revive her musical talent.
After her son died, Kitty decided to continue playing music, as it would have been what he wanted. It was only then, in her early 70s, that she began to become better known for her musical ability. She became friendly with other musicians in Co. Clare, such as Peter Laban and Eoin O Neill, and it was people such as these who convinced her to record her music. She then went on to record two albums. The first was recorded in her daughter’s kitchen in Ennis and is called ‘A Touch of Clare’. Her next album ‘They’ll Be Good Yet’ was recorded in her own house and featured her friend and musician Peter Laban. These recordings are very much treasured by everybody.
Kitty passed away peacefully at her home in May 2008.
Music of Clare Project: