Get to know our experienced and highly competent teachers here! Their classes have a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, regardless of student level.
- Éamonn Galldubh – Tin Whistle, Bodhrán
- Niamh Maguire – Fiddle
- Evin Cunniffe – Banjo
- Sinéad Cahill – Tin Whistle, Flute
- Edel Dempsey – Tin Whistle
- Rory Thornburgh – Button Accordion
Éamonn Galldubh – Musical Director
Uilleann Piper, Tin Whistle and Bodhrán Teacher
Éamonn Galldubh is our Musical Director and also teaches tin whistle and bodhrán with Leithinis.
He began playing traditional Irish music on the tin whistle at age eight, moving on to the uilleann pipes, flute, bodhrán, guitar and saxophone. Éamonn has toured and recorded with artists including Riverdance, Moya Brennan, Clannad, Niamh Ní Charra, Lorcán Mac Mathúna, Kíla, Jiggy, Ragús, Celtic Woman, Druid Theatre, Cara Dillon, Hazel O’Connor, Damien Dempsey, Bruce Guthro, Caitríona O’Leary, Tarab, Zoe Conway, Karen Leitner and the National Symphony Orchestra. These performances encompass over 35 countries across five continents. Venues have ranged from Moscow’s Kremlin Palace Theatre to a stage set up in front of the pyramids at Giza.
Éamonn has made television appearances as a soloist on Flosc (TG4 2003), The Reel Deal (RTÉ 2008) and Geantraí (TG4 2010), as well as many as part of ensembles. He has conducted international masterclasses at Lorient Interceltic Festival (France, 2006), Cacares Festival (Spain, 2012), Goderich Celtic College (Canada, 2013) and Celticimes Festival (France, 2013).
Éamonn’s awards include the All-Ireland Uilleann Pipes Under 18 title. He holds a first class honours Masters degree in music performance from DIT Conservatory of Music and is currently completing a PhD at DkIT, researching the performance of baroque repertoire on the uilleann pipes. He also lectures for the Music and Folklore Departments in UCD. As a composer, Éamonn’s work has been performed and recorded by artists including Moya Brennan and Zoe Conway. More details can be found at his website www.galldubh.com.
Niamh Maguire – Fiddle Teacher
Niamh Maguire teaches fiddle with Leithinis. She is from Co. Monaghan but is currently living in Dublin where she is completing a Masters in Secondary Education in music and Irish. Encouraged by her grandfather and her mother, Niamh has been playing traditional music since she was five years old. Her main instrument and passion is the fiddle but she also plays the tin whistle and, in more recent years, the concertina.
When she was younger, Niamh enjoyed competing and won an Ulster title in the Fiddle and Trio competitions and medals in the Duet and Céilí Band competitions. She has won county titles and medals in the Fiddle, Tin Whistle, Duet, Trio, Céilí Band and Grúpaí Ceoil competitions.
When she was 15, Niamh achieved a distinction in Grade 8 with the London College of Music on traditional Irish fiddle and has been teaching music ever since, preparing students for Leaving and Junior Certificate practical exams, grade exams, feiseanna and fleadhanna. She thoroughly enjoys hearing and seeing the progress of her students and most of all, seeing them enjoy their hobby.
Niamh has played with a fiddle band in concerts across Northern Ireland and at the Edinburgh Fiddle Festival in 2016 and has travelled to the Isle of Skye in Scotland with the Armagh Pipers Club to learn some Scottish music and Gaelic.
Niamh says, “I really believe traditional music is a wonderful pastime which gives us an insight into our Irish culture and tradition as well as being an excellent way to make friends as the traditional Irish music scene is such a close knit group and the people always exude a warm and welcoming atmosphere.”
Evin Cunniffe – Banjo Teacher
Evin Cunniffe teaches banjo with Leithinis. He hails from Co. Roscommon and for the past 16 years has been playing music on banjo, mandolin and guitar. In recent years, he has been teaching with multiple Comhaltas branches. He has competed at the highest level in banjo, winning titles in Roscommon, Connacht and being placed at All-Ireland level.
Throughout his music career he has performed nationally and internationally, including performances in Liverpool and Luxembourg, radio performances on Céilí House, Radió na Gaeltachta and Shannonside FM and has also performed on Comhaltas Live.
Evin says, “I love playing music as it is part of our culture here in Ireland. It is an activity that allows all kinds of people to take part in, almost like another language. It brings people together and creates a sense of community and celebration.”
Sinéad Cahill – Tin Whistle and Flute Teacher
Sinéad Cahill, who teaches tin whistle with Leithinis and is a primary school teacher in North County Dublin, began learning traditional Irish music on the tin whistle while she was in primary school and subsequently learned to play the flute. She studied music for the Leaving Certificate and did Comhaltas exams along with competing in Scór competitions and Fleadhanna Cheoil. While in school she played in various traditional groups.
As a primary school teacher, Sinéad has taught her classes recorder and music theory. Recently, Sinéad’s school has decided to transition from recorder to tin whistle and she has been involved in planning and offering assistance to her colleagues on teaching tin whistle. Sinéad has taught adults and children tin whistle at beginner and intermediate level as well as beginner flute, giving music lessons in one-to-one and group settings.
Sinéad recalls her first music teacher saying, “No matter where you go in life, with a tin whistle in your back pocket you’ll never be stuck”. “This is something I’ve learned to be very true!”, says Sinéad.
Edel Dempsey – Tin Whistle Teacher
Edel Dempsey, who teaches tin whistle with Leithinis, hails from Portrane and comes from a long line of professional musicians in her family – her father and brother played in the No. 1 Army Band and her father in the Gallowglass Céilí Band. She has studied classical piano and flute at the College of Music, Chatham Street.
Edel has travelled extensively throughout Europe playing whistles with the Irish Folk Company in particular for Irish dancing and ballad groups. She has also performed in many venues at home in Ireland, including the National Concert Hall and the Gaiety Theatre. She played whistles on the debut album of singer-songwriter Ned Farrell. Edel has taught tin whistle and piano classes over the years. She has always had a love of teaching music. “It’s great to help people improve their musical abilities”, she says.
Rory Thornburgh – Button Accordion Teacher
Rory Thornburgh, originally from Co. Mayo but now living in Donabate, teaches button accordion with Leithinis. He comes from a musical family – his American father is steeped in Irish music and is a piano tuner by trade. Rory has been playing Irish music for as long as he can remember and has won a number of medals in different competitions from county up to all-Ireland level.
His main instrument is the button accordion but he “plays around with a few other bits and pieces too”. He says, “I’m very lucky to have grown up in a musical family and we had the opportunity as kids to go to and compete in Fleadhanna Cheoil across the country”.
“Music is a massive part of my life”, he says “and I’ve been lucky enough to get to travel and perform in some great venues across Ireland and abroad but it’s the lifelong friends that I’ve made through it that really mean the most to me.”