Foxford man Stephen Doherty (19 ), son of Tommy and Christina Doherty, Currinara, Foxford, was awarded first place in the senior All–Ireland wooden flute competition and second place in the melodeon category at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, which was held in Tullamore, County Offaly, recently.
Announcing the recipient of the award adjudicator Michael McNamara paid tribute to Stephen, stating, “It was an out of this world performance”. A self taught member of a gifted musical family, Stephen started playing music at the age of three and won a number of All–Ireland titles at junior level in the past, including second on the tin whistle and third on the bodhrán. He has been a member of many bands, and accompanied fellow Foxford musician Patrick Doocey in a duet at the All–Ireland some years ago where they were awarded second place for their efforts.
He plays a number of instruments including low whistle, accordion, melodeon, bodhrán, and drums, and has played with some of the finest flute players this country has produced including Matt Molloy and Michael McGoldrick. In addition to winning this major award, Stephen has made history in his native town, as he entered the competition representing the Admiral William Brown branch of Comhaltas Ceolteori Éireann. This branch was established in 2007 by the late president of the Admiral William Brown Society, JJ O’Hara, and it was his intention to endeavour to bring the Mayo Fleadh Cheoil to Foxford at some point.
Following his Leaving Certificate last year Stephen has devoted his energy as a full time musician touring extensively both at home and abroad with various music and dance shows, while also teaching music. Stephen has toured Ireland, England, Portugal and America with various shows including Emerald Beat, Ragus and Music at the Crossroads and is currently on tour in France and Switzerland with Celtic Legends, the highly acclaimed music and dance show. Also at the All–Ireland competition, in Tullamore, the Foxford band (15 to 18 age group ) under the direction of John McHugh, were awarded second place in their category.