Meet our Musicians- Christy Barry

Meet our Musicians- Christy Barry

Nestled on the rugged west coast of Ireland, Doolin is a picturesque village renowned for its vibrant traditional music scene. This small enclave in County Clare has earned a reputation as a musical epicenter, drawing enthusiasts and musicians from around the world. Steeped in rich cultural heritage, Doolin’s pubs come alive with the sound of fiddles, flutes, and bodhráns, creating an atmosphere that is as enchanting as it is authentic.

Here at Doolin Tourism, we are delighted to bring you the second in our series of “Meet the Musicians”. A glimpse into the world of some of our best loved artists that live in Doolin. The local musicians of Doolin are the custodians of our treasured music tradition, ensuring that the soul of Irish music thrives in every corner of the village. Our next musician is Christy Barry of Doolin Music House.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Christy Barry.  I play Flute, Tins Whistle and Percussions. I am a proud Clare man and I live in Doolin. I host old time traditional Irish music  sessions in my home in Doolin.

How did you get into playing Irish Traditional Music?

I was surrounded by traditional Irish music in my home as both my parents played the fiddle and the flute. They had great parties for all the neighbours with music and dancing in our home.  Music was engrained in me from a very young age.


Which musicians have influenced you the most?

The most influential musicians in my life were Patrick Connelly – Tin Whistle player who came to our house. Michael Kelleher, Fiddle player who is our neighbour.  The Russell Broghers from Doolin Micho – Tin Whistle & Flute, Packie, concertina and Gussie Tin Whsitle & Flute.  Paddy Mullins Flute player with the Kilfenora Ceili Band and Peter O’Loughlin from Kilmaley.

How long have you been playing in Doolin and where do you usually play in the village?

I was only 10 years old when I first played in O’Connors pub in 1965 and I was 12 years old when I played in McDermotts pub with our own family band called The Rambling Rose. I also played in McGanns when it opened in 1975 for several summers. I have played in Doolin ever since with a gap when I went to the USA in 1983. I returned to Doolin in 1995 and have been playing there ever since. I have a regular session in O’Connors on Mondays and Tuesdays, Fiddle and Bow on Saturdays and Fitz Pub (Hotel Doolin) every second Sunday. I also play in The Roadside Tavern, Lisdoonvarna in Friday evenings. I also host a cultural experience in my home through out the season – April to October. Please call +353 868241085 and visit for further information.

What makes Doolin so special in your opinion?

Doolin to me is the New Orleans of Irish Traditional Music because of the open sessions and the welcome of the people and the beauty of Doolin  and the Atlantic Ocean along with surrounding North Clare. Doolin is a constant source of inspiration especially when you meet all kinds of musicians from all over the world both professional and amateur.  We meet the world’s best in Doolin.

Can you share a special musical memory associated with Doolin?

One of my best of memories is the launch of my album Late in the Night with Conor McCarthy.  We launched it in O’Connors pub in 2002. We started playing at 1pm, the session went on all day and all night and the following day also !. Musicians, travelled from all over to play. It was a joyous occasion meeting all my old friends from the past and the present.  The whole community of Doolin and County Clare and beyond came to the launch. Another great memory was when I got my Hall of Fame  award from the Doolin Folk Festival in 2015. I have never been in the centre of so many great musicians from far and wide.  These couple of memories are some memories out of thousands!

Besides being a performing musician, and a great story teller, Christy gives private lessons to students including American college groups at his home in the Doolin Music House. He tours around Europe and America from time to time spreading the old music tradition. Christy has featured on National TV on numerous occasions  throughout his career.  Christy composes, and his most popular tunes are  -the Burren Flowers – Christy Barrys Jigs 1 and 2 are played all over the world.

Find out more about Christy on his website here




Read Next: 9 Travel Tips for Planning an Adventure to Doolin

Be sure to explore the rest of our website to find out more information, or to plan your next visit to beautiful Doolin in County Clare.

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