"Mary has proved beyond any doubt that she must be numbered amongst the
very best of them." - Irish Times
Mary MacNamara, Musician, Tulla County Clare
Music was a way of life when Mary was growing up in East Clare.
Born in the townland of Clondanagh between Tulla and Feakle, she was
from an early age in the company of the great masters of Irish
Traditional Music of the region such as John Naughton, Martin
Rochford, P. Joe Hayes, Francie Donnellan, Joe Bane and Bill Malley.
And there was plenty of musical guidance and inheritance from her
parents who were both from musical families. Mary learned much from
her mother Ita whose discernment in music was unquestionable, with a
musical pedigree reaching back many generations.
Mary’s musical style was further honed and perfected as a young girl
sitting by the fireside in the homes of Mikey Donoghue in
Ballinahinch and P. Joe Hayes of Maghera and then Sunday afternoon
sessions with Joe Bane and Bill Malley in Lena's Bar in Feakle. This
unique musical nurturing has resulted in Mary being a highly
respected musician performing at home and abroad and also one of the
most sought after teachers of Irish Music today.
MÓRglór Award 2019. Mary was the recipient of this prestigious award in 2019. In their commendation Glór stated the following: An inspiration to many musicians, both in Clare, nationally and internationally, and an outstanding ambassador for the traditional arts in Clare, Mary returned to live in her home place of Tulla, Co. Clare in 1995 and set herself the task of restoring traditional music to its rightful place as an integral part of the fabric of life in East Clare. In that, she has been successful as attested by the swathe of wonderful young musicians who are now enjoying the heritage of music in East Clare.
On Saturday 16 November 2019, the people of Clare came together to acknowledge a depth of gratitude to Mary for her enormous contribution to Traditional Irish Music with a concert in glór featuring Mary’s friends and family, and some of the most renowned traditional musicians and singers in the country and the county.
Mary Mac Namara and Tigh McDermott, Dúlainn, Co. an Chláir | Geantraí 2002 | TG4
McDermott's Pub, Doolin, Co. Clare : Clare concertina player, Mary Mac Namara with a set of reels : Strawberry Blossoms and Rhatigans, in a recording made for the Geantraí music series on TG4 in 2002.
'Mary's CD's are available from
Mary MacNamara, Andrew MacNamara and Sorcha Costello at Feakle
MacNamara’s musical soul is well worth the discovery -
Boston Irish Reporter