Family and friends remember Des Carty – 20 years on

By Laura Lyne

ONE of Tallaght’s most beloved traditional musicians is being remembered by friends and family this week to mark the 20th anniversary of his passing.

Des Carty, who grew up on Main Street, Tallaght and lived with his family in Bancroft, passed away on February 25, 1996, leaving a lasting legacy through musicians that have been taught through the Des Carty Music School.

Des 2

The school was established in 1997 by Alternative Entertainments following Des’s passing, with students being trained by musicians who were previously taught to play traditional music by the much-loved fiddle player.

A Des Carty night of traditional music with Des’s family and friends was recently held in Áras Chrónáin in Clondalkin to mark his anniversary.

Des’s daughter Gina spoke to The Echo, saying: “My father was born in 1920 and lived in Tallaght all of his life until he died at 75.

“He had five children, myself, my sisters Paula and Deirdre and my brothers Eamonn and Niall. None of us were ever any way musical, except for my brother Eamonn.

“The day he died he had gone to Gorey in County Wexford to watch a fiddle player perform. He had a massive heart attack after the show.

“He worked in Guinness’s and music was his life – he even taught a guy how to play the fiddle during his lunch-break in work.

“Growing up he would always have pupils in the music room of the house, which we called Studio One.
“It’s just marvellous that his legacy continues through the music school and that there are so many musicians he trained.”

Des also worked with Alternative Entertainments, which was established in 1982 to bring artistic events to Tallaght, and continues to organise the annual Des Carty Sessions Musical Festival each October.

Martin Moran from Alternative Entertainments told The Echo: “Des worked with Alternative Entertainments in the area of traditional music, and following his passing we decided to formalise our music school in 1997 with his name.

“At the event in Áras Chrónáin, everybody played and reminisced over the sessions they had with Des back in the ’70s and ’80s.

“There’s a new generation of kids who have learned from people who would have been trained by him or who had his teaching passed along through someone else, so they basically learned from Des.”



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