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The biography
of Tara Connaghan

Tara Connaghan

Co-Principal Fiddle

Profile for Tara Connaghan

Tara Connaghan is from Glenties, Co. Donegal, in the North West of Ireland. Her principle influences are Vincent and Jimmy Campbell, Danny Meehan, the late James Byrne and the older generation of fiddle players in the area, including the distinguished recordings of travelling fiddle maestro John Doherty.

Along with fellow Donegal fiddler, Derek McGinley, she released a well-received recording, Far Side of the Glen – Derek McGinley & Tara Connaghan, focusing on the fiddle style and repertoire specific of the southwest Donegal region, grant aided by the Arts Council Ireland.

‘This is not the “flashy” playing so often heard today; each note is given its chance to express itself properly – the music talks to you, as it should. No excessive speed, no attempts at fusion with other styles, just good, honest Donegal fiddling as we used to hear it years ago…’

John Waltham, The Living Tradition Magazine, UK

She has made a number of guest appearances on CDs including Dr. Liz Doherty & Fiddlesticks (2000), Leonard Barry Mind the Pipes (2002) and Eoin O’Neill In Session (2003). She also presented a TG4 Geantraí programme from Carlow in 2010 featuring musicians from the south east of Ireland. She completed an uilleann pipe making course with Na Píobairí Uilleann.

She is a founding member of the all female 13-strong Donegal fiddle group, SíFiddlers, alongside Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Liz Doherty, Bríd Harper and Róisín Harrigan to name but a few, releasing a self titled album in 2021.

She is also a member of a performance project with guitarist Steve Cooney, Irish language storyteller Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair, fellow Donegal fiddler Mick Brown and Anuna signer, Ellie Níc Fhionnghaile.

Tara first worked with the IMO as Project Manager for the 2013 Clare Concerto project, after this she was invited to become a core member of the group and appointed co-principal fiddle in 2018.

Profile for Tara Connaghan