John McCullagh November 8, 2008
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It is with great sadness that I report the sudden death in his native Glencolumcille, Donegal of that beloved county’s most eminent fiddler.

James Byrne is on the right of this photo: Martin McHugh (pictured) played a lament at his interment yesterday

Regular readers will recall frequent references to him here in the past, (e.g. here )  as your editor likes to spend as much time as possible in the company of these good people.  And James Byrne was simply the best of the best!

James leaves behind a wife who is currently battling with a serious illness and three lovely daughtersall of them wonderful fiddle players too.

Your prayers – as always – are requested.


James Byrne in Feckers: photo by Rik Walton  (Ta, Rik!)

….

I am just returned from three days of mourning in Donegal. 

At the Mass, the local priest described James as ‘the Mahatma of the Glen ‘- our cultural father and guiding light.   He was an extraordinary man who was happy to live a simple life.  My heart almost broke to see his three beautiful and gentle girls play the role expected of them in the circumstances.  I thank God that this much was granted to him. 

There will doubtless shortly be a Tribute Night which I will attend for certain. 

I hope many others will too and be generous in support of Connie and the girls.

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