It has been announced that guitarist Steve Cooney will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards - Nuala O'Connor pays tribute to a mercurial musical talent.

It is hard to describe Steve Cooney in words, but genius possesed of a towering musical intelligence comes close.

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It is a matter of great fortune for this country and its traditional music that Steve was directed here by some powerful ancestral force acting on his psyche. 

All of this is true.

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But it is only when you listen to him that you know and feel its truth. To hear him play and be in his presence is always a profound experience, for listener and player alike .

This Lifetime Achievement Award is an acknowledgment of Steve's deep abiding commitment to his art and the glories that this has produced for all our soul’s enrichment.

Tune into the 2020 RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards on Thursday 26th November at 8 pm on RTÉ Radio 1, or listen live via RTÉ Culture.