Two Irish Ladies

Turlough O’ Carolan (1670-1738) was one of the last wandering Irish harpers. A certain Mrs. MacDermott Roe, the mistress of the estate where O’Carolan’s father worked, set herself up as the boy’s patroness. She made sure that he received an education and that he -after he became blind- became a good harp player. In the end, she gave him a horse and paid a chaperone for his career as a wandering musician.

Two pieces fit on the sheet. Bridget Cruise was dedicated to O’Carolan’s childhood sweetheart. Eleanor Plunkett is dedicated to a fellow countrywoman who was the only member of her family to survive the terror of the English Protestants against the Irish Catholics. Northern Ireland’s roots run deep…

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