Charlie Lennon (fiddler)

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Charlie Lennon
Charles Oliver Lennon

(1938-07-00)July 1938
Died8 June 2024(2024-06-08) (aged 85)
Galway, Connacht, Ireland
Alma materUniversity of Liverpool
Years activec. 1970s–2024
Síle Ní Fhlaithearta
(m. 1966)
RelativesMaurice Lennon (nephew)
AwardsTG4 Composer of the Year (2006)

Charles Oliver Lennon (July 1938 – 8 June 2024) was an Irish musician, fiddler, composer, and pianist.

Early life and education


Charles Oliver Lennon was born the youngest of four children to Jim and Sally Lennon in Kiltyclogher in July 1938.[1][2] Lennon learned playing instruments including the fiddle and piano at a young age, and joined several céilí bands in his teenage years. He graduated from the University of Liverpool, majoring in nuclear physics.[3]



Lennon's career spanned over 50 years.[4] His compositions include The Twelve Pins, The Smiling Bride, The Road to Cashel, Lennon's No.4, The Handsome Young Maidens and The Bag of Money.[3][5][6] His recordings include Lucky in Love, The Emigrant Suite, Flight from the Hungry Land, Island Wedding, Time for a Tune, Aifreann Chaomháin and Áille Na hÁille, The Dance of the Honey Bees and Dusk 'Till Dawn.[1][7][8]

Lennon's book of compositions, Musical Memories, was published in 1993.[3] Lennon was awarded the title Ard-Ollamh by the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in 2005. He was the 2006 TG4 Composer of the Year.[9] Lennon's second book of compositions, Musical Memories Volume 2, was released in 2012.[10] He was awarded the IMRO Gold Award in 2020.[11]

Lennon also taught at third level at the University of Galway.[9] He moved to Spiddal after his retirement, where he opened a recording studio.[3]

Personal life and death


Lennon married sean-nós singer Síle Ní Fhlaithearta in 1966, with whom he had 3 children and 8 grandchildren.[12][1][13] He was Maurice Lennon's uncle.[14]

Lennon died at the University Hospital Galway on 8 June 2024, at the age of 85.[15]

Select discography



  • The Twelve Pins
  • The Smiling Bride
  • The Road to Cashel
  • Lennon's No.4
  • The Handsome Young Maidens
  • The Bag of Money


  • Lucky in Love
  • The Emigrant Suite
  • Flight from the Hungry Land
  • Island Wedding
  • Time for a Tune
  • Aifreann Chaomháin
  • Áille Na hÁille
  • The Dance of the Honey Bees
  • Dusk 'Till Dawn


  1. ^ a b c "Charlie Lennon". Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  2. ^ "Artists and Works Search". Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel. Retrieved 11 June 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d Ainsworth, Paul (9 June 2024). "Tributes paid to Irish trad musician and composer Charlie Lennon". The Irish News. Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  4. ^ O'Rourke, Evelyn (8 June 2024). "Irish traditional musician Charlie Lennon dies aged 85". RTÉ.
  5. ^ "Charlie Lennon". Féile Oriel 2024. Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  6. ^ "RIP Charlie Lennon (1938–2024)". The Journal of Music. 9 June 2024. Retrieved 11 June 2024.
  7. ^ Neely, Daniel (10 June 2024). "Charlie Lennon, trad titan, 85". The Irish Echo. Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  8. ^ "Charlie Lennon". Taisce Chois Fharraige (in Irish). Retrieved 11 June 2024.
  9. ^ a b "IMRO Master Classes at Temple Bar Tradfest 2013". Irish Music Rights Organisation. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  10. ^ "Second Volume of Charlie Lennon Tunes". The Journal of Music. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2024.
  11. ^ "CHARLIE LENNON 1938-2024: Duine de mhórcheoltóirí na tíre, ar shlí na fírinne". (in Irish). 11 June 2024. Retrieved 11 June 2024.
  12. ^ "Charlie Lennon". ITMA. Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  13. ^ Ryan, Emma (10 June 2024). "President leads tributes following death of Leitrim native and Irish traditional music legend Charlie Lennon". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  14. ^ "Musician Mick O'Brien to be awarded highest accolade in Traditional Irish Music". TG4. 6 March 2023. Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  15. ^ Gleeson, Colin (9 June 2024). "Irish traditional musician Charlie Lennon has died aged 85". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 June 2024.