Paddy Fahey (aka Paddy Fahy, born 1926)
Paddy Fahey is an Irish composer and fiddler who is considered one of the finest living composers of
tunes that are in the style of The East Galway Irish Music Tradition
Fahey is from Kilconnell in East Galway. His music has a distinctive yearning, magical quality often
referred to as “Draíocht”. His music has been recorded by many of the finest traditional Irish
musicians including Martin Hayes, Planxty, John Carty and Kevin Burke. In recent years a few
recordings featured Fahey’s music prominently including recordings by Liz and Yvonne
Kane and Breda Keville.
Fahey is something of an enigma in the traditional Irish music world in that he has never made a
commercial recording despite the fact that he is an exceptional fiddler, nor has he published a book
of his compositions. There are some privately made recordings of Fahey which have been
distributed amongst musicians since the 1970s, and transcriptions of his tunes are found in many
tune collections and on Internet resources such as www.thesession.org.
Fahey has never given his compositions names, instead they tend to be simply named “Paddy
Fahey’s Reel No.1”, “Paddy Fahey’s Jig No.2”, etc. His known compositions number around 60
tunes, all of which are either jigs, reels or hornpipes.
In 2001 Fahey was named Composer of The Year by Irish Language TV station TG4 at their annual
award ceremony ‘Gradam Ceoil TG4’.