Tyrone mournes loss of another music legend

2 September 2011, 4:09 PM GMT

Tyrone mournes loss of another music legend

– It is with great sadness that we have heard of the passing of Joe Ward, another of Tyrone’s traditional music legends.

Hailing from Glencoppagh, Plumbridge, Joe was one of a family of 12 fine musicians who all gained their musical prowess form their parents. His mother Suzanna, who played the accordion, and his father Barney, who played the fiddle, where indeed musicians of note who passed their love of the music on to their children with great success. A tradition that Joe carried on, passing his love of traditional music to many young players from across Tyrone. Joe really enjoyed listening to good young musicians and could often be found at Fleadhanna across the country in their company admiring their timing and repertoire. Joe was known far and wide and could join in any session be it with young or old, his knowledge of tunes was second to none. Without doubt, there was always a chair available for him at any session across the whole of Ireland, due to his popularity as a friend and his skilful musicianship.

Joe’s death will surely be mourned by not only his family and friends but also his wider Comhaltas and traditional music family across Ireland. Tyrone have now lost two of their greatest exponents of traditional music in the last twelve months, with the passing of Joe’s friend and close companion, Michael Gallagher of Mountfield at the beginning of the year. Both men were founding members of Dún Uladh, the regional headquarters of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, an organisation they both loved. They leave this legacy for generations to come, and with it, have ensured the continuation of the teaching of traditional music in Tyrone. Tyrone County Board Chairman of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Hugh Quinn, commented that “Joe’s influence and contribution to traditional music not only within Tyrone but certainly across Ulster pays tribute to not only the character of Joe but also to his generosity of spirit, he was a good friend who will be sadly missed by many”

His Funeral will leave his late residence on Saturday (September 3) at 10.15 a.m. for Requiem Mass at 11 o’clock in the Sacred Heart Church, Plumbridge. Interment to follow in the adjoining cemetery.

Ar dheis dé go mbeidh a anam.

Posted By Dun Uladh

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