WHEN Micheal O Domhnaill suffered a fatal fall last July, the world of Irish music was shocked and saddened with the loss of a true artist who in his own quiet way made many stand up and take notice of his musical ability. He inspired a generation of guitarists and singers who sought the best songs they could find and musicians to accompany not just as sidemen but as integral parts of any performing group.
On Thursday, May 24 at Vicar Street in Dublin, a host of Irish trad notables will gather for a tribute concert “Omos: A Gig for Michael” that will include all the remaining members of the trail-blazing Bothy Band and many others who played alongside Micheal.
With Triona ni Dhomnaill, Kevin Burke, Matt Molloy, Donal Lunny and Paddy Keenan on the bill it is already a historic reunion, but they will be joined by Maighread Ni Dhomnaill, Mick Hanly, Noel Hill and Tony Linnane (another reunion worth noting from their 1979 recording produced by Micheal), Mary Black, Moya Brennan, Brian Dunning (who performed in Nightnoise with M.O.D.) Mairtin O’Connor, Cathal Hayden, Daithi Sproule, Jimmy Crowley and the other O Dhomnaill sibling, Connall and other special guests.
This will be a sellout for sure and talked about for years, but it will leave an even more lasting legacy as it will raise funds to honor his memory through the Micheal O Domhnaill Trust Fund.
The immediate beneficiary will be the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin, which moved into posh state of the art facilities last year thanks to significant government funding but still has much valuable work to do in capturing the evolving musical history of the Irish people.
In conjunction with the concert a CD will be released comprised of selections of Micheal singing and playing with many other artists.
The fund will allow for individual scholarships for students who wish to focus on the Irish language and traditions of the Donegal Gaeltacht which had a heavy influence on O Domhnaill from his childhood days since his father was a native of Rannafast where the family summered.
Unless you are in Dublin and can score a ducat, you may have to “settle” for CD when they are available. If you would like to contribute in his memory you can do so at the Micheal O Domhnaill Trust Fund, Bank of Ireland, Dundrum, Dublin 14, Ireland (Branch Code 90.10.95 or account number 66309211.) For more information take a look at www.michealodomhnaill.com