SEÁN Ó Riada was only 40 when he died in 1971, but his music, his achievements, his legacy, and his influence, continue to resound through Irish folk and traditional music.
The impact on our native music will be explored by his granddaughter, the Galway based musician and broadcaster, Doireann Ní Ghlacáin, in a new documentary to be broadcast on TG4 on St Stephen’s Day (Sunday December 26 ) at 9.21pm.
Seán Ó Riada – Mo Sheanathair, features performances from classical pianist Barry Douglas, singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, as well as from Nell Ní Chróinín, Steve Cooney, Cormac McCarthy, Cór Chúil Aodha, and Doireann Ní Ghlacáin herself.
Ní Ghlacáin [pictured below] delves into the archives and presents an intimate portrayal of Ó Riada through interviews with The Chieftains’ Sean Keane and singer Seán Ó Sé, as well as with her mother Sorcha Ní Riada; her aunt, Rachel Ní Riada; and her uncle, Peadar Ó Riada.
The documentary traces Ó Riada’s steps from his college days in UCC to the jazz bars of Paris and back to the Gaeltachts of Cork and Kerry, and how his work revolutionised Irish folk and traditional music.
Directed by Feilimí O’Connor and produced by Dónal O’Connor, this is the first feature length documentary by Táin Media. It was co-written by Doireann Ní Ghlacáin and Feilimí O’Connor, and in collaboration with executive producers Jim Sheridan and Neil Martin.