Tributes have poured in for the famed West Kerry traditional musician and singer, Séamus Ó Beaglaíoch, who has died aged 73. As clann mór de amhránaithe agus ceoltóirí, togadh é sa Ghaeltacht i mBaile na bPoc, fear lán de cheol, de mhisneach, agus de spraoi a bhí ann.
A hugely popular musician and singer, Begley was also described by all who knew him as “meidhreach”: possessing that extraordinary good humour and capacity for fun that caused so many to seek out his company.
(Photo: Oireachtas na Gaeilge)
While he was famed for his lively, feisty, accordion music, his singing – in Irish, in particular – was captivating and rich with meaning, whether delivering Bruach na Carraige Báine, or a song he had learned at school.
Other singers and musicians loved to see him coming, and audiences adored his humour and sense of fun.
Séamus Ó Beaglaíoch
Bhí sé binn, bhí sé ceolmhar, bhí sé meidhreach, muinteartha, beannacht Dé lena anam!
Chaith muid an mhaidin le scéalta faoi fhear ceoil Bhaile na bPoc, ag breathnú siar ar phictiúir ó Oireachtais éagsúla, go speisialta Ceolchoirm an Oireachtais 2014 pic.twitter.com/860eztYbfC
— An tOireachtas (@OirnaGaeilge) January 10, 2023
Fuair sé a cheol ar dtús ón gclann agus óna thuistí. Duíreadh go minic inniu gur chur sé ár dteanga dhúchais chomh maith leis ár gceol ar stáitsí an domhain mhóir.
He described the extraordinary seannós singer from An Rinn, Nioclás Tóibín, as one of his heroes, as well as his mother and father.
He had also in recent times played and toured extensively with the renowned trad band Téada who said that they were” truly heartbroken at the loss this evening of Séamus Begley, an absolute giant of music, song and fun for so many years.
“It has been such a privilege to spend many great times with Séamus on and off the stage and the joy he has left with so many all around the world, is a legacy that will be keenly felt and remembered for a long time.”
Téada will feature on this week's episode of Comhluadar Ceoil, with Séamus Begley, Oisín MacDiarmada & Tristan Rosenstock.
Comhluadar Ceoil | Dé Domhnaigh 28/03 | 20:30 | TG4 pic.twitter.com/Eb0o4JNxKs
— Trad TG4 (@TradTG4) March 24, 2021
Tributes were paid by those in broadcasting and across the world of music for the much-loved musician.
Is brónach an lá atá ann inniu. Ba chuma an ag canadh amhrán ciúin nó ag seinm dreas polcaí, chuir Séamus Begley a chroí agus a spiorad isteach sa cheol i gcónaí agus bhí an tádh linn a bheith ann len é a chloisteáil. Comhbhrón ó chroí lena chlann agus a chairde inniu. pic.twitter.com/KhIemsT9kO
— Aoife Nic Cormaic (@TheRollingWave) January 10, 2023
He performed very often with his beloved family, such as this most recent piece written by his daughter Méabh.
He is survived by his wife, Mary and his children, Breanndán, Eoin, Níall and Méabh and his extended family including his “adored” grandchild, Aibhín.
Comhbhrón leo. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.
An laoch ceolmhar Seamus Begley ar lár. Suaimhneas síoraí 💔 pic.twitter.com/rwAIQqHoZR
— TG4TV (@TG4TV) January 10, 2023