Dermot is one of Ireland’s leading virtuoso button accordion players, and has been to the fore in commercial traditional music circles for decades. A native from Buncrana, Co. Donegal, Dermot learned the accordion from an early age from his father, Tomás Ó Beirn. He mingled and played with such Donegal legends as Johnny Doherty, Con Cassidy, Tommy Peoples and Danny Meehan. He has a unique style that shows his various musical influences, and his mastery and command of the instrument is unrivalled. For two decades, he was at the centre of the traditional super group ‘Altan’, with whom he toured the world, and released numerous albums. Throughout his career, he has collaborated in various forms with such greats as Steve Cooney, Bríd Harper, Jim Murray, Sharon Shannon, Stephane Grappelli, Frankie Gavin and The Stunning. In 2013, Dermot was awarded the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Traditional Musician of the Year. He has recently released an album with harpist and singer Floriane Blancke, and is currently living in Co. Clare.
Bríd is originally from Donegal, and is now living near Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. She has been hailed as one of the leading exponents of traditional fiddle playing of our time. She is enormously respected in traditional music circles as a teacher and performer. She was senior All-Ireland Champion, Fiddler of Dooney and Oireachtas winner in 1988. She has toured extensively both in Ireland and abroad as a soloist and on various CCÉ tours. Bríd has collaborated with numerous giants of traditional music, including Dermot Byrne and Steve Cooney and Danny O’Mahony. Many of Ireland’s traditional musicians cite Bríd as having been a major influence on their own playing.
Patrons of Cuisle Cheoil are unlikely to need any introduction to Co. Wexford traditional singer, Paddy Berry. With his unique melodious singing voice and unrivalled interpretation of traditional ballads, especially those from the south Wexford baronies of Forth and Bargy, he has attained iconic status among traditional music lovers, not just in Wexford but throughout the country. A native of Duncormick, Paddy now lives in Drinagh, just south of Wexford town.
An avid collector of songs and folklore, Paddy has made an enormous contribution to the preservation and revival of traditional folk singing over many decades. An active and highly valued member of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann throughout his adult life, he has been involved in various cultural education initiatives. His contribution has been recognised by fellow music lovers and also earned him a lifetime achievement award from President Mary McAleese.
Paddy has published three recordings and two print collections of County Wexford ballads. He has performed at various concerts at home and abroad and captivates his audiences with his inimical style and charming personality.