Vincent Broderick

(15/06/1920 - 07/08/2008)

Vincent Broderick (1920 – 7 August 2008), a plasterer by trade, was a celebrated Irish flute and tin whistle player, esteemed teacher, and prolific composer of traditional Irish music. He lived with his family on Dowland Road, Walkinstown.

Born in the picturesque townland of Carramore, Bullaun, near Loughrea in County Galway, he was one of the seven children of Tom and Ann Broderick. His musical journey began under the tutelage of his mother, Ann, who introduced him and his brother Peter to the flute with instruments provided by a local priest.

Broderick’s reputation flourished in Dublin, where he became an integral member of the Pipers Club on Thomas Street in the early 1950s, rubbing shoulders with esteemed musicians such as Leo Rowsome, Willie Clancy, and John Joe Gardiner. His virtuosity on the flute earned him numerous accolades, including winning the All-Ireland flute competition in 1954, showcasing his own compositions and playing a copper-pipe flute of his own making, playing in the East-Galway flute style. Subsequently, while working on a plastering job at a residence, he stumbled upon an abandoned Rudall and Rose flute. After having the instrument restored, he cherished and played it for the remainder of his days.

A masterful composer, Broderick’s compositions, including “The Whistler at the Wake” and “Ward’s Eviction,” are cherished parts of the traditional Irish music canon, drawing inspiration from his life experiences and local history.

Throughout his illustrious career, Broderick’s dedication to traditional Irish music remained unwavering. He performed extensively with céilí bands such as Brophy, Kincora, and Éamonn Ceannt, and contributed significantly to the cultural landscape as a teacher, passing on his expertise to future generations at the Pipers’ Club.

The Turoe Stone, a collection comprising 32 of his compositions, was released in 1992, followed by a subsequent volume in the years that followed. His works gained popularity among musicians performing Irish music globally, leading to numerous recordings by various artists and bands.

Broderick’s legacy extends beyond his musical achievements; he was awarded the TG4 Composer of the Year Award in 2003, recognising his profound influence on Irish music. His compositions, compiled in publications like “The Turoe Stone,” continue to resonate with musicians worldwide, ensuring his enduring impact on traditional Irish music.

Vincent Broderick’s passing in 2008 marked the end of an era in Irish music, but his timeless compositions and musical legacy endure, ensuring that his contributions to the rich tapestry of Irish culture will be cherished for generations to come.

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Connection with area: Celebrated Irish flute, tin whistle player, teacher, and prolific composer of traditional Irish music who lived with his family on Dowland Road, Walkinstown.