Paddy Killoran (1904-65) was an Irish fiddler, born near Ballymote, County Sligo, Ireland. He is regarded, along with his mentor James Morrison and the great Michael Coleman, as one of the finest exponents of the south Sligo fiddle style in the “golden age” of the ethnic recording industry of the 1920s and ’30s.

paddy killoran - Paddy Killoran - Irish fiddle player
Source: ITMA.ie

Born in Ballymote, Co Sligo, Killoran emigrated to New York to become one of the legends of Irish American fiddling. he was one of the most prolific recording artists of Irish traditional music in the 20s and 30s and left behind a large recorded catalogue of 78s to posterity. he continued his recordings into the 1950s and the LP era. He is associated with many Irish tunes such as the Maids of Mount Kisco, of which he is probably the composer. Hs playing was distinctly rhythmic and he had the habit of playing together sets of tunes similar in key and melody, for example Down the Broom and the Gatehouse Maid, which are still regularly played together.

A member of the South Sligo Brigade during the War of Independence and Civil War, he emigrated in 1925 to come under the influence of  James Morrison. In the 20s he played with Morrison’s orchestra, before forming his own Paddy Killoran Quartet and then the Pride of Erin Orchestra with fiddler Paddy Sweeney.

Going Further

The Maids of Mount Kisco reel

The Instruments of Irish Traditional Music

Ornamentation in Irish Traditional Music

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