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Michael Falsey, Seafield, Quilty (b. 1929)

Michael Falsey and Junior Crehan

Michael Falsey and Junior Crehan.
Photo courtesy Pat Mackenzie

Michael Falsey was born in Quilty and is a well-known musician and singer. He plays the tin whistle, uilleann pipes and flute and has won all-Ireland titles in all three instruments. He grew up with, and played with, fiddler Bobby Casey and learned the uilleann pipes from his friend Willie Clancy. He played with The Laichtín Naofa Céilí Band and the Kilfenora Céilí Band. Michael is also a fine singer with a large repertoire of local ballads and holds a store of information on local events, fishing and other traditions relating to his native Quilty.

Michael talks to Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie about his life (2007):
My name is Michael Falsey, probably considered an unusual name, it is at the moment anyways ‘cause there’s not too many of the name around. I live in Seafield, which is back near Quilty, of course, in West Clare, and eh, I’m 78 years of age. I’ve been in the road a long time. I started out at a young age, I left home when I was 17 and I finished up in the great England, like all good Irish people did, and I stayed there for 10 years. I had good times there – I got married there – and I came back home to Ireland then, in 1957, and I’ve been here since. Well of course, I was always involved in music because my father played anyway, but not alone that, there was quite a few musicians around the area, and it was one of the usual pastimes anyway. I was brought up of course all through the war – the war years, 1939-1946 we lived through all the war and through rations and different deprivations like, rations of food, clothing, shoes, things like that. But we had a lot of chance to use our own resources, different maybe to cities and towns; in the country places we had our own tillage. So I was involved in the music and I stayed with it then and when I left home I got involved in it, when I went to England I got involved in it as well, and I played with a couple of groups there and I played with a couple of céilí bands there in fact, and it was a handy pastime at the weekends, and a handy chance also to make extra money, the wages wouldn’t be too high in some of the jobs, the high-class jobs we had! But em, when I came back I still continued the music here in Ireland, I’m still at it anyway I got involved with an awful lot of, I suppose famous, musicians. I won four All Ireland’s going through fleadhs, fleadh cheóils, and the Oireachtas and places like that and I met an awful lot of nice friends through the music of course, from different countries: Ireland, England, Continent, America - different countries and when the Willie Clancy Summer School started up after Willie Clancy died, who was a personal friend of mine, he taught me to play the pipes, it brought a lot of musicians from other countries to the School up in Miltown for the first week in July every year, and it has escalated year after year, it has got out of hand now, they have to curtail the amount of students that come there, they wouldn’t be able to have venues to accommodate them for the classes. So it’s grand to be involved in something like that, that was nearer to my heart anyway with the music. I never was a man for drinking or socialising that much and the music was a grand outlet for me.

Michael Falsey talks to Jim Carroll about ballads and ballad sellers

Michael Falsey talks to Jim Carroll about local singers

Michael Falsey talks to Jim Carroll about making songs from local events

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