The Musical Priest

Richard Henebry

Francis O’Neill befriended Reverend Richard Henebry as part of his efforts to publicize his collection of Irish music. Henebry was in many ways similar to O’Neill, but had a more radical approach to the preservation of Irish music. For example, he believed that the only true way to play the music was through learning the Irish language. This article by Ciaran Carson is an excellent examination of Henebry’s life and beliefs.

Chief O’Neill collaborated with this famous and controversial academic; even sending him early Edison wax recordings of Chicago Irish players. Most of these are in the Dunn collection (see this post for more details). Appropriately, the remainder of the wax recordings are held in UCC in O’Neill’s native Cork. The following clip describes the process of digitizing these fragile recordings. For further details see the university website here.


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