Dan O’Connell (b. 1921)
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Dan O’Connell (b. 1921)


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One of North Cork’s great landmarks, the O’Connell Pub in Knocknagree, was owned by the legendary Dan O’Connell until it was sold in 2007. It was here that Dan was recorded the previous year. O’Connell’s pub had been the venue for wonderful sessions of music and dance since the 1960s, presided over by Dan O’Connell who had a passion for stepdancing and for the rhythm and rhyme associated with Sliabh Luachra music and dance. Dan declares that Sliabh Luachra music was composed for dancing and explains that it was “a waste of music if someone wasn’t dancing – the music was gone for nothing”. He recalls his old friend Danny Abbey who was a great character who lived close by at “Abbey’s Green Isle”, and who composed the lyrics for the jig in the Jenny Lind set: “with my red rosy cheeks, and my dark curly hair,/ I clouted the road on my way to the fair,/ With my hands in my pockets I whistled a jig/ To humour the road for myself and my pig.” Every tune had a rhyme, and students of the sets were encouraged not to listen to the music but to listen to the rhyme. The first set dancing session at O’Connell’s took place on St Stephens night of 1965 and the musicians gracing the proceedings on that momentous occasion were the wondrous box player Johnny O’Leary and Denis ‘The Weaver’ Murphy, whose unique fiddle playing was a joy to hear. Dan O’Connell was a born teacher who would lead the dance and who guided many novices on their first tentative steps. For forty years, Dan O’Connell’s pub was a mecca for musicians and dancers, and Dan himself presided over it all with dedication and grace.

Additional information



Audio series:

Cork county, first series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

21.84 MB, 11.84 MB, 10.22 MB, 7.25 MB, 15.14 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



A legend in his time

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe