Ceol Phádraig

Music at St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, 1875-2016

by John Buckley (Volume editor) John O'Flynn (Volume editor)
©2019 Edited Collection XVIII, 336 Pages
Series: Carysfort Press Ltd., Volume 1001


Since its foundation in 1875, the activities of St Patrick’s College Drumcondra and its graduates have been closely woven into the educational and cultural fabric of Irish society. This volume charts how music and music education have fulfilled a major role throughout the history of the Dublin-based establishment that began as a teacher training college and later evolved into a college of education and liberal arts. Graduates of St Patrick’s College have taught hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pupils across the country, have made significant contributions to various facets of professional and amateur music activity, and have had an invaluable influence on the wellbeing of individuals, the development of communities and the advancement of the nation as a whole.
The book records and interprets key musical developments, appraises the work of major contributors, and captures the activities of students, staff and visiting musicians at St Patrick’s College up to its incorporation into Dublin City University in 2016. It represents a major scholarly work that details the progress of music at a university college in Ireland, and it is envisaged that its varied chapters and themes will evoke further memories and discussions among graduates of the College and others.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • List of Contributors
  • List of Figures
  • Abbreviations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction (John Buckley / John O’Flynn)
  • Chapter One: Fluctuating Fortunes: St Patrick’s College, 1875-2016 (Daithí Ó Corráin)
  • Chapter Two: Music Performance at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra (John Buckley)
  • Chapter Three: Music in Education and Humanities (Patricia Flynn / John O’Flynn)
  • Chapter Four: Composition and the College (Rhona Clarke)
  • Chapter Five: ‘All are welcome’: Irish traditional music at St Patrick’s College (Teresa O’Donnell)
  • Chapter Six: Vocal and Choral Music (John O’Flynn)
  • Chapter Seven: The Kodály Connection (Yvonne Higgins)
  • Chapter Eight: Engagement and Research (John O’Flynn)
  • Chapter Nine: Music and Tourism: Mapping Popular Music from St Patrick’s College (Áine Mangaoang)
  • Chapter Ten: The Fidelio Trio Residency (John O’Flynn)
  • Chapter Eleven: Graduate Perspectives (John Buckley)
  • Afterword: St Patrick’s College Music Department and its place in Irish musical life (Niall Doyle)
  • Appendix A: List of full-time music lecturers in St Patrick’s College, 1883-2016 (John Buckley)
  • Appendix B: Programmes of lunchtime concerts given by guest performers, November 2003 - March 2016 (John Buckley)
  • Appendix C: Participation by choirs of St Patrick’s College at the Cork International Choral Festival, 1972-2015 (John O’Flynn)
  • Appendix D: Music and music education dissertations and theses, 2000-2016 (John O’Flynn)
  • Appendix E: List of events during the Fidelio Trio residency and festivals, 2012-2016 (John O’Flynn)
  • Index

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List of Contributors

JOHN BUCKLEY is a composer whose catalogue of original compositions extends to over 100 works. These have been performed and broadcast in more than fifty countries worldwide. He is a graduate of St Patrick’s College Drumcondra and was a lecturer in the Music Department there between 2001 and 2016. He is a member of Aosdána.

RHONA CLARKE is an associate professor in the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music at Dublin City University. She is a composer whose output includes choral, chamber, orchestral and electronic works. She has received commissions from RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the Cork International Choral Festival, Concorde, Music Network, Chamber Choir Ireland and the National Concert Hall, among others. Her works have been performed and broadcast throughout Ireland and worldwide.

NIALL DOYLE attended St Patrick’s College from 1978-81. He taught in St Maelruan’s NS in Tallaght before returning to college in TCD to study music while also working as a professional tuba player. From the early 1990s he has been a full-time manager, working as CEO of Music Network, as Director of Music in RTÉ, CEO of Opera Ireland and as a management consultant. He is currently Head of Music and Opera in the Arts Council.

PATRICIA FLYNN is Associate Professor of Music in DCU. She lectured in St Patrick’s College Drumcondra from 1998 until its incorporation into Dublin City University in 2016. A graduate of UCD and the University of Huddersfield, her research engages with infrastructure for the arts in music and she works extensively with Music Generation, Local Authorities and the Contemporary Music Centre.

PAUL GILGUNN is a composer, educator, and musician who works across the peripheries of classical and popular music. He is currently focused on creating a body of new work encompassing avant-rock, improvised music, and post-minimalist composition. He holds a BA in English and Music (DCU), an MPhil in Literature (TCD), and a PhD in Music (Goldsmiths).

YVONNE HIGGINS is Assistant Professor of Music Education in the School of Arts Education and Movement in the DCU Institute of Education. Prior to taking on this role she has had extensive experience at primary level. She is a graduate of St Patrick’s College and of the ← ix | x → Kodály Institute, Hungary, and has founded and directed school, community, and college choirs.

ÁINE MANGAOANG is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Musicology, University of Oslo. Her research on popular music appears in The Routledge Handbook for Popular Music Analysis, and Postcolonial Text and Torture journals. Her forthcoming publications include the monograph Dangerous Mediations: Pop Music in a Philippine Prison Video (Bloomsbury), and the co-edited collection Made in Ireland: Studies in Popular Music (Routledge).

DENISE MORGAN graduated with a BA degree in 2013 from St Patrick’s College, where she studied Irish and music. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education in Trinity College Dublin in 2014 and is currently on the staff of St Mary’s Secondary School, Baldoyle. She is a choral director and is also the Irish and Cultural Officer of Meath GAA.

CONALL Ó BREACHÁIN is a member of We Cut Corners - a multi- award nominated band trading in lyrically-deft, harmony-laden indie music. He has, along with his long-term musical collaborator, John Duignan, released four critically acclaimed albums, and performed across Ireland, the UK, Spain, Holland, Russia and in New York. The band has collaborated with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Conor O’ Brien (Villagers), Paul Noonan (BellX1) and Lisa Hannigan.

DAITHÍ Ó CORRÁIN is a lecturer in the School of History & Geography, Dublin City University. A specialist on the history of Ireland in the twentieth century, his recent publications include chapters on Irish Catholicism in The Cambridge Social History of Modern Ireland (2017) and The Cambridge History of Ireland vol. 4 (2018). He is co-editor of the acclaimed Irish Revolution, 1912-23 series published by Four Courts Press.

TERESA O’DONNELL is a harpist and musicologist. She is former Foras Feasa fellow and lecturer at St Patrick’s College, DCU. She is co- author of Sisters of the Revolutionaries: Margaret and Mary Brigid Pearse (2017) and her research has been published in the Journal of Music Research Online and the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland. Teresa is a renowned harpist and has performed nationally and internationally. ← x | xi →

JOHN O’FLYNN is Associate Professor of Music at Dublin City University and was formerly Head of Music at St Patrick’s College. He is author of numerous publications on a range of subjects including music in Ireland, film music, popular music and music education; he is also active as a choral conductor and baritone recitalist.

MIRIAM O’SULLIVAN is a native of Killarney who graduated from St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra in 1982. While teaching in primary schools for most of her career, she has been seconded twice, first to The Ark where she worked as Music Programmer, and subsequently to the Primary Curriculum Support Programme. She holds a performance diploma in flute from the London College of Music and is keenly interested in performing.

COLMAN PEARCE won many awards as a young pianist, and received an honours degree in music at UCD. While at college he began to conduct and in 1965 he was offered a contract as orchestral conductor by RTÉ. He was Co-Principal Conductor of the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra from 1978-1980, and Principal Conductor from 1981-1983, Principal Guest Conductor Bilbao SO 1984-87, and Music Director/ Principal Conductor, Mississippi SO 1987-99. He was awarded a PhD in composition by St Patrick's College, Dublin City University in 2009.

GAVAN RING is an international opera singer and musicologist. He has performed leading roles at the The Royal Opera, Glyndebourne and Opéra Royal de Versailles with conductors such as Sir Mark Elder and Sir Simon Rattle. Gavan is a graduate of St Patrick’s College, Dublin City University, the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio in London. ← xi | xii →

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List of Figures

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The editors are greatly indebted to St Patrick’s College Research Committee and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation for the subvention of book production costs. Thanks are also due to Dan Farrelly, Carysfort Press and Lucy Melville and colleagues at Peter Lang Publishing for their expert guidance, and to Áine Mulvey for her meticulous preparation of the index.

Our sincere thanks go to the many library staff, archivists and others who provided access to a range of handwritten, print, digitized and media materials, including: Orla Nic Aodha, Sophie Dowling and staff of the Cregan Library, DCU; Paul Murphy, Senior AV Technician, DCU Institute of Education; Teresa O’Farrell, President’s Office, DCU; Tina Byrne, Senior Archivist and Records Manager, RTÉ Document Archives; Avice-Claire McGovern, Mary Broderick and Nóra Thornton, Special Collections and Manuscripts Department, National Library of Ireland; Sarah Burn, Potter Archive.

We deeply appreciate the committed work of music and humanities administrators at St Patrick’s College over the past two decades who helped digitize many of the records accessed in preparation for this volume, notably, Emer Benson, Evelyn Cuddy, Carol Davis, Bronagh Farrell, Geraldine Healy, Barry O’Halpin and Annette Slattery.

The production of this volume has been greatly assisted by a range of colleagues and friends who provided additional materials or who furnished details on various aspects of musical life at the College, including: Albert Bradshaw, Patrick R. Burke, Gareth Cox, Paul Deegan, Marion Doherty, Lilla Gábor, Péter Erdei, Helen Fleming, Jean Hayes, Anne Marie Herron, Muireann Joy, Ailbhe Kenny, Peter McDermott, Darragh McGonigle, Seán Mac Liam, Nicole Martin, Cliona Murphy, Regina Murphy, Moya Ní Cheallaigh, Nicholas O’Carolan, John O’Carroll, Lorraine O’Connell, Peter O’Driscoll, Gráinne O’Flynn, Mary O’Flynn, Michael O’Leary, Breda O’Shea, Eoghan Ó Suilleabháin, Fiona Roche, Deirdre Seaver, Caitlín Uí Éigeartaigh, Fintan Vallely and Daniel Walsh.

Finally, our sincere and heartfelt thanks go to all the contributors to this volume for giving of their expertise and experience; they share our dedication to all those who created the musical heritage of St Patrick’s College. ← xvii | xviii →

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John Buckley and John O’Flynn


XVIII, 336
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2019 (November)
Music performance, education and research History of St Patricks College Drumcondra Irish society and culture
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2019. XVIII, 336 pp.

Biographical notes

John Buckley (Volume editor) John O'Flynn (Volume editor)

John Buckley is a composer whose catalogue of original compositions extends to over 100 works. These have been performed and broadcast in more than fifty countries worldwide. He is a graduate of St Patrick’s College Drumcondra and was a lecturer in the Music Department there between 2001 and 2016. He is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s academy of creative artists. John O’Flynn is Associate Professor of Music at Dublin City University and was formerly Head of Music at St Patrick’s College. He has occupied various roles in the advancement of music education and musicology in Ireland, and is author of numerous publications in the areas of music in Ireland, film music, popular music and music education; he is also active as a choral conductor and baritone recitalist.


Title: Ceol Phádraig