Des Donnelly, from Lacca, Fintona Co Tyrone, was tragically killed in Manchester England on 12th June 1973 in a building site accident. On this day Irish music lost one of its most exciting performers.
Des had just returned from London and because of the reception he had got there planned to make fiddle playing his future. At the age of 40 he was in his musical prime and steadily gaining recognition as the man who could set audiences alight.
Des' interest in music began at an early age. His father was a fiddle player and also made his own fiddle. The family was big - eleven children, five of whom became musicians. From time to time is became necessary for the young Donnelly's to emigrate and eventually six brothers settled in Manchester. Frank, the eldest brother was also a good fiddle player who also died young a few years after Des' passing.
At all the major traditional events and competitions in Britain, Des was a regular and was All Britain champion for the three years up to his death. But enjoyed the sessions around the competitions with fellow musicians more.
This is a production of old tapes gathered together after Des death and we hope the listener will appreciate the style and vigour with which Des approached his music. ''I take chances and make things up'' he once said.
The ''make-up'' was always different and this is what made him so exciting. It is also hoped that there are more recordings which will come to the surface as a result of this effort.