Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Francis O’Neill (1849-1906)

The dedication of O'Neill's music of Ireland
On display this week in the Special Collections Reading Room is O'Neill's music of Ireland : eighteen hundred and fifty melodies : airs, jigs, reels,hornpipes, long dances, marches, etc. (Chicago : Lyon & Healy, 1903). Francis O’Neill is regarded as one of the foremost collectors of traditional music and song. As chief of police in Chicago, he recruited traditional Irish musicians into the police force and collected tunes widely. His opus is regarded as an important reference work for traditional Irish musicians and music lovers alike.

Our copy was formerly owned by Fr. Michael Ryan, a Tipperary native, whose abiding interest in Irish literature and language led him to organise an Irish music, literary and drama festival in the diocese of Sydney where he served for 50 years.

If you would like to view the spotlight exhibition, please contact the staff of the Special Collections Reading Room in the Hardiman Research Building at

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