I am the youngest of six children and my family migrated to Melbourne from Dublin when I was four years old. As we settled into a new life in Australia, music played a large part in helping ease our transition. Our culture was shared and celebrated with regular gatherings in our home. These were great nights of songs, tunes and story telling.
My father hails from Co. Leitrim, Ireland and first travelled to Australia in the late 1950s. Young and bold and in search of adventure, he tossed a coin to decide between Peru or Sydney. Fate landed him in New South Wales where he started work on the Snowy Mountains Scheme. My mother was born in Sydney and raised in Belfast, returning to Australia when she was fifteen years old. My parents met and were married in Sydney in the 1950s. Five days after their wedding, they returned to Dublin for a honeymoon that lasted seventeen years.
For as long as I can remember, I have had a deep connection with the music of Ireland. Most of what I know about Irish history and folklore has come from the songs. Strangely, it's the songs of love, loss and abandonment that I find myself singing most. I've travelled and played Irish music throughout the world and no matter where you are; the music transcends language and culture - it is a great unifier. The deep emotion is entrenched in the tunes, the songs and in me.