Fleadh fiddler Méabh Smyth paid tribute to her musical family and home county of Armagh, as she received the Young Musician 2023 award at University Concert Hall, Limerick, on Sunday night (23rd April).
On a video shown just before her acceptance speech at Gradam Ceoil TG4, Méabh pointed out her mother Rosie was a member of Irish trad band Déanta – who themselves made records and won awards. ‘We thought she was very cool,’ said Méabh, who grew up hearing trad in the house and the car.
Her father, Thomas, also cited other musical influences such as Tommy Peoples and Frankie Gavin. ‘She always listened to my records,’ he said.
Méabh said she was ‘delighted’ when she heard of the honour being given to her. ‘I think it’s a form of recognition for my family and our style of music in this region,’ she added. She was presented with her award by Bríd Harper (pictured) – herself an award-winning fiddle player.
Méabh was joined on stage for a performance by her brother Tiarnán and Ryan Molloy. Previously, Tiarnán and Méabh had been the support act for Sharon Shannon at Iúr Cinn Fleadh 2018.
Méabh wasn’t the only Armagh musician to be honoured at the awards show on Sunday. Fintan Vallely was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award by Breda Smyth, Chief Medical Officer of Ireland.
Their trophies had been created by sculpture John Coll. The ceremony can be viewed on the TG4 player.