The region known as Sliabh Luachra occupies the rural area where the counties of Cork, Kerry and Limerick meet. While it is not clearly defined, the region encompasses villages such as Scartaglin, Cordal, Brosna, Rockchapel, Newmarket, Ballydesmond, Gneeveguilla and Knocknagree to name but a few. Sliabh Luachra has become synonymous with a unique style of traditional Irish music and repertory comprised largely of slides and polkas.
Among the most noted exponents of the Sliabh Luachra style include Padraig O’Keeffe, Johnny O’Leary, Paddy Cronin, Julia Clifford, Jackie Daly and the TG4 Young Musician of the Year 2014, Bryan O’Leary.
Extract from ‘Musical Sliabh Luachra’ by Donal Hickey.
Sliabh Luachra has its own distinct brand of traditional music which is copied on a national scale. The great composer Sean O’Riada, found material and inspiration in the area while natives, like the late Padraig O’Keeffe and Denis Murphy, are nowadays recognised as being among the finest ever exponents of our music. Music from the district can be heard almost daily on Radio Telefis Eireann. Titles of many tunes played by leading groups and individuals echo of people like Din Tarrant and Tom Billy Murphy and of places such as Toomore and Scartaglen. In fact, nowadays Sliabh Luachra is best known for its music.