The Dunne Family is one of the great musical families of Ireland, with a heritage stretching back many generations. Mickey Dunne, with his Uillean pipes at the ready, is a proud standard bearer for this great and famous Irish family. Steeped in the musical tradition of his family, Mickey comes honestly by the gifts handed down through his father Paddy Dunne who is his greatest influence.
There are no recordings of Paddy Dunne, but he was a unique musician and master of his art who encouraged and supported his family in the art of music making. Along with Mickey’s uncles, Mick, Hanta, and Christy, known collectively as the Blind Dunne Brothers, that well-known and talented generation helped keep alive and bequeath a rich legacy of traditional Irish music to today’s aficionados. The Dunne brothers are still talked about by anyone who heard or saw them play.An educational CD-ROM presenting the Life and Music of the Dunne Brothers highlights the importance of these musicians. It was produced by the NOMAD Project at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick and has been circulated to schools and colleges worldwide. It features interviews with master musicians such as Tony McMahon and Séamus Connolly, all heavily influenced by the music of the Dunnes, plus archive film footage and audio recordings.
As stringed-instrument virtuoso all, the Dunne musicians have influenced many of the brightest stars in the present generation of Irish fiddle players. Not surprisingly, all of Paddy’s sons became musicians – the best known are Mickey and his brother Christy Dunne, the newest set of ‘Dunne Brothers’. They are well known the length and breadth of Ireland and throughout the international festival scene.
The Link continues with the latest generation of Dunnes to contribute to this musical heritage with Bríd and Niamh Dunne recognised as worthy heirs to this Legacy.