A young Paddy O’ Brien features on the sleeve of the new album .

Centenary celebration of musician Paddy in Newtown

Free concert and album launch

The centenary of the birth of the renowed Newtown born accordion player Paddy O' Brien will be marked on Culture Night on this Friday, September 23, in his native village when an album featuring his wonderful music is launched as part of an occasion that will include a concert by some of the country's top musicians and singers.

This event is being billed as a celebration of the life of Paddy, who was born in February 1922 and who passed away in 1991, leaving a tremendous legacy of traditional music for generations to enjoy.

Admission is free to the launch of the album, titled ‘Solo recordings of The Legendary Paddy O'Brien’, with entertainment kicking off at Reidy's Skyfarmers bar from 9pm.

Guests on the night will include Mick Foster (accordion/vocals) of Foster and Allen fame and his wife Moyra Fraser (piano/accordion/vocals).

Other guests appearing for what promises to be a memorable night of music and song include Anne Conroy Burke (accordion), Mary Conroy (vocals/guitar), Deirdre McSherry (flute/piano), Keelan McGrath (button accordion 2022 All-Ireland Champion) and the O'Brien family.

Paddy O’Brien, musician, teacher and composer, is without doubt one of the most influential figures in Irish traditional music of the 20th Century. Born on February 10 1922 into a musical family in the village of Newtown, Paddy transformed and popularised B/C accordion playing when his recordings on Copely Records Boston and Columbia records were released in 1947 and 1954.


Paddy developed a new approach to accordion playing whereby ornamentation used on flutes, fiddles and uilleann pipes - rolls and cuts - could be accomplished on the B/C accordion.

Through his exploration and experimentation, Paddy also achieved the option of playing the B/C accordion in all keys. His playing style has been copied and adopted by generations since these early recordings. As a composer, Paddy left a priceless legacy of compositions to Irish traditional music. These compositions have been published and promoted by his daughter Eileen and have been embraced and accepted into the Irish traditional music repertoire and are played all over the world.

To mark the centenary of Paddy's birth, his family have designed an archival recording project to demonstrate Paddy's mastery of the B/C accordion. The album includes 21 tracks of Paddy's playing dating from 1947 up until 1985.

On the night, Eileen will give an illustrated talk on the Paddy's musical life with sound and video clips. This will be followed by the launch of the album by Mick Foster and a concert and informal session.

A concert featuring the special guests will then take place followed by an informal session of music and song.

Special thanks to Tipperary County Council, Nenagh Arts Office, Culture Ireland, The Arts Council of Ireland and Culrure Night.ie Tipperary.