Tommy Meehan (1927- )

(10th May 1927 – )

John (left) and Tommy Meehan

John (left) and Tommy Meehan

Tommy is the youngest son of nine children raised by James and Ellen Meehan (née McHugh) at Leirg an Dachtáin. All his older siblings played the fiddle but most notably his brothers James and John while of his sisters, Kate continued to play into her adulthood. Tommy recalls three or four fiddles hanging on the wall in the kitchen when he was a child. Other players from the locality in Tommy’s youth included his cousins, James and Brian McNelis of Goirt Sháile and Frank McHugh of Mucrois, Willie Hegarty (melodeon) and Con and Paddy McCahill, both fiddle players from Goirt Sháile. It appears that the tradition was very much a local one and Tommy does not remember much contact with players from the neighbouring parish of Gleann Cholmcille. Tommy emigrated to the USA in 1954 aged 27 years boarding the ‘Saxonia’ in Cobh, County Cork in the company of two other Cill Charthaigh men. The voyage lasted ten days with nine hundred emigrants on board. Tommy qualified as an electrician and settled in Chicago where he married and raised a family. He enjoys returning to Cill Charthaigh almost every summer where he plays in local sessions. He also recorded a CD in recent years with another fiddler, Theresa Shine, a neighbour in Chicago.