Brendan McCabe R.I.P.

Brendan McCabe R.I.P.

Sad to report the death of Brendan McCabe last Sunday. His funeral will take place in Kilmacud on Thursday morning.

Brendan played flute for many years with the Fodhla Ceili Band, a great band to dance to. There were many times at dances that I was listening to their music and nearly missed my cue to dance! For info on the Fodhla see
http://www.setdancingnews.net/news/bands1.lp

He also taught flute in Dublin, and one tune I learned from him (and have rarely heard elsewhere) was The Coast Road.
https://thesession.org/tunes/8099

He once told me how he learned tunes when he was young. He would go to dances to listen to his uncle’s ceili band. If a tune he did not know caught his attention, he would identify what set it was in and talk to his uncle at the interval. The uncle would arrange to play it again after the break, and then Brendan would leave immediately after that while the tune was fresh in his head, and go home and practice it.

Re: Brendan McCabe R.I.P.

This is very sad news indeed. Many’s the good tune we’ve had on Saturday nights in Monkstown where Brendan was a regular attender at the Pipers’ Club sessions along with that great stalwart, Patsy Downey from the Midlands on box.

Re: Brendan McCabe R.I.P.

We made our farewells to Brendan this morning in the St. Laurence O’Toole church, Stillorgan. While understandably a very sad occasion it was also uplifting in the musical contributions from Brendan’s many friends. Particularly poignant was the beautiful slow air played by Pat O’Kane on fiddle accompanied by her husband Brian on organ. I later found out from Brian that this air, titled "Caoineadh Deasún", was originally composed by Fermanagh fiddler, Fergus McTaggart some thirty or more years ago in honour of the late Manchester based fiddler, Dessie Donnelly who died tragically in a building site accident at the time.

Also, by coincidence, the current Comhaltaslive clip at http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_281_7_naithi_ceili_band/ shows Brendan McCabe with the Naithí Céilí Band competing at the Tullamore All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil. Brendan, on the extreme left of the stage is close to the other flute player in the Band, Sarah Jane Woods. Sarah Jane also played flute at today’s funeral mass.

All this provides a fitting farewell to a musician who’ll be sadly missed but never forgotten.