Kitty ‘Seán’ Cunningham (1919 – 2018)

Kitty ‘Seán’ Cunningham

Kitty was steeped in the music and dance tradition of Teileann, from both her family and neighbours in Cruachlann, where she was born in October 1919. Her grandmother, Bidí John Chiotín was a fine lilter as was her father, Paddy MacSeain. Through Bidí, Kitty was related to the Cassidys, John, Paddy and Frank and their cousin, Con. She also spent much time in the company of Máire, Peadar and Conal ÓBeirn, Baile an tSrutháin, a house highly regarded locally for both storytelling and music. It was here that Kitty picked up much of her repertoire of lilting and song, including tunes such as ‘Báthadh Phroclais’, ‘Taibhse Chonaill’ and ‘Na Smeara’. Kitty was the life and soul of every session where she generously passes on her repertoire and was a great source of encouragement for the younger generation of musicians in south-west Donegal.