Jimmy O’Brien’s Contribution to Sliabh Luachra Marked at O’Keeffe Festival 2014

Singer and publican, Jimmy O’Brien giving a bar of a song at the door of his bar in Killarney to Sliabh Notes members: Donal Murphy, Tommy O’Sullivan and Matt Cranitch. ©Photograph: John Reidy 14-4-1996.

Killarney publican  and singer, the late Jimmy O’Brien stood behind the counter of his celebrated bar for a couple of years with a half  century. 

The bar closed in the summer of 2013 and just two years after the institution had celebrated its 50th year in business. 

After a few years spent in America in the 1950’s, Jimmy returned to Ireland with his new wife, Mary Cronin. Together, they opened their bar on Killarney’s College Street in the summer of 1961. 

A Haunt for Musicians

Distinctively and patriotically painted in the green and gold of their native county, the  pub soon became a haunt for musicians of the Sliabh Luachra persuasion and for GAA people from all over the county and beyond. 

A sought after and highly accomplished sean nós singer, Jimmy  was a regular guest at festivals and gatherings throughout the country. He made many television appearances and radio broadcasts.

Big Castleisland Day in Jimmy’s

He was widely regarded as being among the finest exponents of this distinctive style of singing. 

The bar was the firmly established ‘Sliabh Luachra house’ in Killarney  and Johnny O’Leary and Jimmy were great friends. 

The huge Castleisland contingent which travelled to Killarney on that April day in 2007 for the unveiling of the late Mike Kenny’s sculpture of Johnny O’Leary will remember the after party in Jimmy O’Brien’s for a while.

A Magnate for Sessions of Music

As a host and magnate for sessions of music and song there was none better that Jimmy O’Brien. 

As a guardian of the beauty and purity of the Sliabh Luachra tradition, Jimmy O’Brien was always there. 

It was entirely fitting then that he was presented with the Dedication to the Music of Sliabh Luachra Award at a concert to commemorate his old friend, Johnny O’Leary.  It happened at the 2014 festival which honours Patrick O’Keeffe – the Last of the Great Fiddle Masters.  

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam agus mar a dúirt an líne álainn faoi ​​bhun seo: ‘Go gcloisfidh sé na hAingil ag déanamh ceoil.’

The Late Jimmy O’Brien – Notice and Funeral Arrangements

The death has occurred of Jimmy O’Brien, Countess Grove, Killarney and late of Jimmy O’Brien’s Bar, College Street and Lyreatough, Kilcummin, Killarney, Kerry.

Beloved husband of the late Mary and loving father of Anne, Siobhán and Jim.

Sadly missed and dearly loved by his family, son-in-law Harry, Siobhán’s partner Paudie, his grandchildren Shane, Cian, Róisín and David, great grandson Teddy, Cian’s partner Sandra, brother Donie in Cork, sisters-in-law Kathleen and Rita Goodwin in New York, brother-in-law Dan Cronin, Kilcummin, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and his many great friends.

Predeceased by his brother Patrick and sister Julia.

‘Go gcloisfidh sé na hAingil ag déanamh ceoil.’

Reposing at O’Shea’s Funeral Home, Killarney on Sunday evening from 4pm to 6pm for family and close friends.

Requiem Mass on Monday morning at 10.30am in St. Mary’s Cathedral and burial afterwards in Aghadoe Cemetery, Killarney. Requiem Mass will be live streamed on https://www.churchservices.tv/killarneycathedral

Date Published: Friday 15th October 2021. Date of Death: Thursday 14th October 2021

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