Tommy Peoples

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Tommy Peoples, performing in September 2009

Tommy Peoples (20 September 1948 – 4 August 2018) was an Irish fiddler who played in the Donegal fiddle tradition.


Peoples was born near St. Johnston, County Donegal, in Ulster, Ireland. He was a member of traditional Irish music groups, including 1691 and The Bothy Band as well as performing solo from the late 1960s. He played in the fiddle style of East Donegal.

After moving to Dublin in the 1960s, where he was employed as a Garda (member of the Irish police force), he subsequently moved to County Clare and married Mary Linnane, daughter of Kitty Linnane, long-time leader of the Kilfenora Céilí Band. He lived in the village of St Johnston. His daughter Siobhán Peoples is also a fiddler.

Tommy Peoples was the Traditional Musician In Residence at The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, County Donegal.[citation needed]

In July 2015, he launched a self-published book Ó Am go hAm - From Time to Time. The book combines a fiddle tutor by Peoples, along with illustrations and a complete notation of 130 original tunes by Peoples. The book also includes many stories and incidents from his life and musical career.

He died on 4 August 2018.[1]


With The Bothy Band[edit]


  • An Exciting Session with One of Ireland's Leading Traditional Fiddlers (1976)
  • The High Part of the Road (1976) [accompanied by Paul Brady]
  • A Traditional Experience with Tommy Peoples: A Master Irish Traditional Fiddle Player (1976)
  • The Iron Man (1985) [accompanied by Dáithí Sproule]
  • Fiddler's Fancy: Fifty Irish Fiddle Tunes Collected and Performed by the Irish Fiddle Legend (1986) [accompanied by Manus Lunny]
  • Traditional Irish Music Played on the Fiddle (released in 1993, but recorded in 1982)
  • The Quiet Glen/An Gleann Ciuin (1998) [accompanied by Alph Duggan]
  • Waiting for a Call (2003)

With Matt Molloy and Paul Brady[edit]

With Paul Brady[edit]

  • Welcome Here Kind Stranger (1978; remastered on CD in 2009) [Peoples plays on four tracks]


External links[edit]


  • Sarah Lifton (1983) The Listener's Guide to Folk Music, p. 74, ISBN 0-87196-720-0 .
  • Harry Long (2005) The Waltons Guide to Irish Music, p. 309-10, ISBN 1-85720-177-9 .
  • Neal Walters & Brian Mansfield (ed.) (1998) MusicHound Folk: The Essential Album Guide, p. 623-5, ISBN 1-57859-037-X (the source of his birth date).