Hundreds attend Mac Mathúna funeral

Tuesday 15 December 2009 22.05
Ciarán Mac Mathúna - Hundreds attend funeral
Ciarán Mac Mathúna - Hundreds attend funeral

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral mass of the veteran broadcaster and music collector Ciarán Mac Mathúna.

His wife, three children and wider family were joined in mourning by the President and Taoiseach's aides-de-camp, as well as former RTÉ colleagues, musicans, politicans and friends.

Peadar Ó Riada and Cor Cuil Aodha led the ceremony in traditional Irish music, along with musicans from Planxty and the Chieftans.

Also contributing to Mr Mac Mathuna's funeral Mass were RTÉ Director General Cathal Goan, poet Seamus Heaney and founder of the Willie Clancy Summer School, Muiris Ó Rocháin.

After the mass, Ciarán Mac Mathúna remains were removed to Mount Jerome Crematorium.

Born in 1925, he was a recognised authority on Irish Music and lectured extensively on the subject.

A native of Co Limerick, Ciarán Mac Mathúna first joined RTÉ as a radio producer in 1955. One of his first jobs was to travel around the country in the company of a mobile recording unit gathering material for Radio Éireann's traditional music archive.

Mac Mathúna started his Mo Cheol Thú programme in 1970 and it became one of the longest running programmes on radio, finishing in November 2005.

Listen to Mo Cheol Thú programmes from the RTÉ archive

Each 45 minute programme offered a miscellany of archive music, poetry and folklore, mainly of Irish origin.

It was described as an 'unashamedly nostalgic and wistful' mix of poetry, instrumental music and song.

For more than 50 years he made an enormous contribution to the preservation and development of Irish traditional music.

He won two Jacob's Awards in 1969 and 1990 for his radio programmes and received the Freedom of Limerick City in 2004.