A group picture of the Gradam Ceoil TG4 Music Award winners
Gradam Ceoil TG4 2023 recipients, from left to right: Michelle Mulcahy, Louise Mulcahy, Fintan Vallely, Maurice Lennon, Mick Mulcahy, Méabh Smyth, Mick O'Brien and Síle Denvir Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22
Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Graduates from University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance have featured strongly in the Gradam Ceoil TG4 Music Awards

The prestigious awards, now in their 26th year, recognise those who have contributed to the advancement and preservation of traditional music in Ireland and were announced on Monday night.

Dr Síle Denvir was announced as the recipient of the Singer of the Year award, while Dr Michelle Mulcahy received the Music Group Award alongside her father and sister, Mick and Louise Mulcahy.

Both Síle and Michelle completed the Graduate Diploma in Education (Music) at UL. Síle completed an MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance, after which she undertook doctoral research, exploring the reinterpretation and performance of traditional Irish song in Ireland and Scotland.

A sean-nós singer, harper and academic whose music is deeply influenced by her upbringing in the Conamara Gaeltacht, in addition to performing as a solo artist, Dr Denvir is a founding member of the traditional band Líadan and has collaborated with many musicians including The Chieftains, Barry Kerr, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Martin Hayes and Úna Monaghan.

Michelle completed an MA in Ethnomusicology, followed by an arts practice PhD, exploring Karen, Burmese and Irish harping traditions.

Michelle and her father and sister, Mick and Louise Mulcahy are a well-known family of musicians from Abbeyfeale. All three are successful solo musicians as well as being highly regarded as a trio.

Michelle learned the whistle from age five and went on to play the button accordion, concertina, harp, fiddle, piano and melodeon. In 2006 she was awarded the Young Musician Award at the Gradam Ceoil, and, in 2007, she performed on the Bill Whelan album The Connemara Suite alongside Zoë Conway and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Her PhD researched the harp traditions of Burma and Ireland, the first such study of its kind.

Uilleann piper Mick O’Brien was announced as the recipient of the Gradam Ceoil TG4 Musician Award for 2023.

Irish World Academy director Professor Helen Phelan offered her “congratulations to Síle and Michelle and all the award recipients”.

The awards ceremony will take place at the University Concert Hall on Sunday, April 23.