Lá Lugh was a traditional Irish music duo from County Louth in South Ulster comprised of husband and wife Gerry O’Connor (fiddle) and Eithne Ní Uallacháin (flute and voice). Between 1991 and Eithne Ní Uallacháin’s untimely death in 1999, the duo released three landmark recordings – Cosa gan Bhróga in 1987 with flute player Dezi Wilkinson, the self-titled Lá Lugh in 1991 and Brighid’s Kiss in 1996. In 1998, the release of Senex Puer on the Sony Music label, a compilation of tracks from their last two albums albums, gave the duo an international exposure. Lá Lugh’s music features essentially a lot of rare songs and tunes from the Oriel region of South East Ulster which were collected either from historical journals or from the repertoire of local musicians while also venturing into the Scottish or French Canadian repertoire.
While remaining authentic to their roots, Lá Lugh was very much a contemporary and innovative band with a modern sound. Singing in English and in Irish, Eithne Ní Uallacháin was a fantastic singer with a remarkably clear and almost blues-inflected voice.
Mál Bhán Ní Chuilleannáin (Fair Molly Hollywood) is a traditional song that was collected at the turn of the 20th century and published at the time in a collection of popular Ulster songs. Since only the words of the song were noted down and the original airs were lost, Eithne Ní Uallacháin composed a new tune for the song. Introducing and concluding the song is a slow reel called “The destitution” which was composed by English mandolin player Ian Stevenson.
All the recordings mentioned are available from Gerry O’Connor’s website.