Paddy Fahey

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Paddy Fahey (aka Paddy Fahy, born 1926) is an Irish composer and fiddler who is considered one of the finest living composers[citation needed] of tunes that are in the style of traditional Irish music.

Fahey is from Kilconnell in East Galway. His music has a distinctive yearning, magical quality often referred to as "Draíocht".[1] His music has been recorded by many of the finest traditional Irish musicians including Martin Hayes, Planxty, John Carty and Kevin Burke. In recent years a few recordings featured Fahey's music prominently including recordings by Liz and Yvonne Kane and Breda Keville.

Fahey is something of an enigma in the traditional Irish music world in that he has never made a commercial recording despite the fact that he is an exceptional fiddler, nor has he published a book of his compositions. There are some privately made recordings of Fahey which have been distributed amongst musicians since the 1970s, and transcriptions of his tunes are found in many tune collections and on Internet resources such as[2]

Fahey has never given his compositions names, instead they tend to be simply named "Paddy Fahey's Reel No.1", "Paddy Fahey's Jig No.2", etc. His known compositions number around 60 tunes, all of which are either jigs, reels or hornpipes.

In 2001 Fahey was named Composer of The Year by Irish Language TV station TG4 at their annual award ceremony 'Gradam Ceoil TG4'.

Literary sources[edit]

  • Vallely, Fintan (ed.), The Companion to Traditional Irish Music. Cork University Press, Cork, 1999
  • Holohan, Maria. The Tune Compositions of Paddy Fahey. MA Thesis, University of Limerick, 1995


  1. ^ Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine.: "Draíocht is a Gaelic word meaning 'spiritual power' or 'soul.'"
  2. ^

External links[edit]