Dermot O'Brien

When flying over the Ireland the other day, the late Dermot O’Brien (1932-2007) came to mind. I had the good fortune to meet Dermot a few times over the years. He was a pure gentleman and a great accordion player. He would have made a great traditional accordion player too. The showband circuit provided him with a decent living. There was not the equivalent for the trad musician at the time.

Dermot also wrote many songs including one that entered into the aural tradition (and one of the most requested songs my dad would sing in English a la sean nos), the Connemara Rose.

Jimmy “Horse” and Uncle Mick “Killer” Keane met Dermot too in the 1950’s at a dance in Meath. Both Jimmy and Mick were excellent boxers (and fighters too) and were always challenged by the new kids on the block (or at the bar). As you might imagine where this is going, a wee bit of a fight broke out that ended not too long after. Well, one of the defeated “new kids on the block” found himself throw in the direction of stage landing atop Dermot and his accordion inflicting enough minor damage to the box to end the show for that evening. I found out about this thru Dermot when he and Jimmy were chatting about football (Dermot was the captain of the 1957 All-Ireland Football Champions Louth) in Irish (later translated by Jimmy to me). They both had a huge laugh some thirty years later. I wonder what ever happened to the new kid on the box... 

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