Margaret Barry

Her life and times

Margaret Barry 2_edited.jpg
Saturday 28th September 2019 | 11.30 a.m.
Parish Hall Drimoleague - Free

Lisa O'Neill and Jason Murphy in conversation.

Margaret Barry was a one off.  The Cork born street singer and collector of songs entered this world on New years day 1917.  Everything about her was unique and uncompromising, her voice, her banjo playing, her choice of songs, her story telling and her innocent and beautiful outlook on life. She lived for music and survived off music, she dreamed compositions, and she famously claimed that she was in love with music. 


A major part of Margaret's life was spent traveling the fairs, Gaelic football matches and house ceilis of Ireland entertaining the ordinary people in both the North and South of the Island. She made a remarkable impression in the folk clubs in England in the 1950's where she was documented  in many interviews and her songs recorded by the American song collector Alan Lomax.

She made it to America too where she had some wonderful and humorous encounters with people like Frank Sinatra, Brendan Behan and Bob Dylan to name a few. There is so much to learn about this woman. To listen to her sing is to be transported to  an Ireland that is now past. (© 2019 Lisa O'Neill)

This talk will include audio recordings and rare archive material of Margaret in speech and song from a forthcoming RTE radio documentary.

Lisa O'Neill is singer and songerwriter from Co.Cavan. She has released four albums to date. Her most recant album ' Heard A Long Gone Song ' includes two traditional songs inspired by Margaret Barry's take on the them. Margaret's music has been an essential influence on Lisa's work.

Jason Murphy is an independent radio producer from the County Cork. His work has been heard on RTE, the BBC and elsewhere. He won the Prix Italia International radio competition for his documentary ' No time to lose ' in 2016.

Jason and Lisa look forward to coming together to share their research and curiosities on the unforgettable Margaret Barry.