Seán Corcoran: Performing and collecting traditional music for a lifetime

SEÁN Corcoran spent his whole life performing and collecting traditional music.

Born in 1946 and raised in Clogherhead and Drogheda in Co Louth, he came from a musical family and began singing in choirs and Feis competitions as a child.

Livened up by the rich repertoire of local singers, he also began collecting songs in the 1960s and was involved in traditional music festivals.

A good singer and bouzouki player, he recorded music with the vocal group The Press Gang and later with Cran.

He also worked as a teacher, studied ethnomusicology at Queen’s University, and wrote a folk column for Hot Press and Fortnight.

Corcoran was based in Belfast for much of the 1980s and 1990s, collecting and recording songs and music throughout the north, including west of Fermanagh.

He has edited three audio collections for the NI Arts Council and contributed to the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

In recent years he had researched and presented several television and radio documentaries.

Seán Corcoran died on May 3rd at the age of 74 in Buxton, Derbyshire, where he had lived with his wife Vera.

His family said he was also sadly missed by his “many friends who throughout his life were made as a founding member of the Old Drogheda Society through the performance and research of traditional Irish music and songs and his long involvement in local history.”