Biography:Jeremiah Breen

Find traditional instrumental music

Jeremiah Breen

 Given name:     Jeremiah
 Middle name:     
 Family name:     Breen
 Place of birth:     Ballyconry, County Kerry
 Place of death:     
 Year of birth:     1839
 Year of death:     
 Profile:     Musician
 Source of information:     

Biographical notes

Francis O'Neill has a sketch of Breen in Irish Minstrels and Musicians (1913, p. 371):

The subject of this sketch hailed from the parish of Ballyconry between Listowell and Ballybunnian, County Kerry. Having lost his sight early in likfe, music was his only recourse, and as he had talent in that line he became an excellent fiddle player. Besides playing at Sunday "patrons" with "Tom" Carthy, the centenarian piper of Ballybunnian, Breen made money teaching his art to farmers' sons and playing at Saturday night dances which were no means uncommon in those days. Among his pupils was Michael Kissane, a business man of Chicago, well known as one of the best Irish fiddlers in the city. Altogether Breen may be considered one of the most successful and prosperous of his class in the third quarter of the nineteenth century.

Among other pupils of Breen was Maurice Carmody, born in Dromlought in 1893. According to Diarmuid O'Cathain [1] "Dromlought is a little townland on the back road from Listowel to Ballyconry and up to half a century ago boasted of a little dance hall that attracted patrons from far and near. From here Maurice Carmody'™s fame and music spread and his tunes were carried to foreign shores by his neighbour, Paddy Stack from Ballyconry and later by his son Tom."

  1. Diarmuid O'Cathain, "The Old Musicians of North Kerry," [1]