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Mairead Walls - Singing

Mairéad is originally from the small village of Dunloy in North Antrim, Ireland. She began playing traditional Irish music on the tin whistle at the age of 10 at the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. She was taught by Sinead and Maire McGrath before ‘graduating’ to the senior class under the tuition of John Kennedy of Cullybackey. It was during this time, around the age of 12, that John introduced her to traditional singing and her love of traditional song was born.
Mairéad, along with her sisters Berni and Patricia attended many sessions, fleadhs and festivals all over Ireland. Mairéad won the Ulster Senior Ladies Singing Title two years in a row in 1987 and 1988. She was also awarded the Ulster Senior Tin Whistle title in 1987 and was runner up at the All Ireland Fleadh that same year.
She enjoys passing on the tradition to others, some of whom have enjoyed success at Fleadhs and festivals throughout Ireland including several All Ireland champions and prize winners. She has been the singing tutor at the Ulster Traditional Singers Festival for the past 10 years and was awarded the ‘Keeper of the Tradition’ Award at this event in 2011.
Mairéad loves and sings the traditional songs of Ulster and County Antrim in particular. Many of these songs have been learned from local singers, including John Kennedy, Len Graham, Jeannie McGrath and the singing of the late Joe Holmes of Ballymoney.
Her quest for a good singing/music session has taken her to all parts of Ireland and Europe. She has also performed on various music programs over the years with recent recordings including the TG4 programme ‘Hup’ in Sept 2016 and Radio Ulster programme ‘The Ulster Song Book’ in June 2017 both of which featured her singing with her daughter Ethlinn (All Ireland Singing Champion 2012). Mairéad has performed with various groups over the years, travelling and performing all over Ireland and France; she is a founder member of the group Déanta.
Mairéad has begun recording her debut solo CD of music and song and hopes to have this released in mid-2018.