Afternoon Concert

Bobby and Lynda Gardiner / Mary MacNamara and Sorcha Costello / Tom O’Connell and Peter McAlinden

London Irish Centre (Presidential Suite)

Sun 30th Oct 2016



IMDL ticket booth here:


Afternoon Concert

We are delighted to welcome two members of another of Ireland’s famous musical families, the Gardiners of Tipperary. Bobby Gardiner, from Aughdarra, Co. Clare, began playing accordion at the age of 8. By the age of 15, he was sufficiently accomplished to be invited to join the prestigious Tulla Céilí Band. Three years later, he joined Malachy Sweeney’s Céilí Band from Armagh and traveled throughout Ireland with them.

He emigrated to the USA in 1960, where he played and recorded with many famous émigré musicians, including Paddy Killoran, Joe Cooley and Ed Reavey, Sean McGlynn and Andy McGann. His solo album, Memories of Clare, was one of the first by an Irish button accordion player.

Bobby has released a number of classic albums, most notably, The Master’s Choice and The Clare Shout. He teaches throughout Tipperary, Waterford and Limerick and has been a tutor at University College, Cork, for 25 years. In 2015, Bobby was honoured by Gaelic television company TG4, which presented him with its lifetime achievement award.

He and his wife Ann, a singer and pianist from Tipperary, settled in Ballyporeen, South Tipperary. Their three daughters, Kelley, Fiodhna and Lynda, are all accomplished musicians. Bobby appears today with Lynda, a concertina player of note and previous All Ireland title winner.

From Clondanagh, between Tulla and Feakle, Co. Clare, concertina player Mary MacNamara learned from some of the masters of Irish music in the region, including John Naughton, Martin Rochford, Paddy Joe Hayes, Francie Donnellan, Joe Bane and Bill Malley.

She has performed throughout Europe and the USA and is one of the most sought after teachers of Irish music.

Her daughter, Sorcha Costello, is one of the finest of the younger generation of fiddle players. This year, they released a delightful album of duets, The Lady’s Cup of Tea, which also features the piano playing of Mary’s son, Pádraig.

Tom O’Connell, from West Limerick, began playing the accordion at the age of 12. He won the Senior All Ireland title in 1981 and has been a stalwart of the Irish music scene in London for many years.

Peter McAlinden was born in London in the 1960s. His parents were from Co. Down and Co. Cork and he learned his music from Kathleen Murray of Aclare, Co. Sligo. Through Kathleen, he met and played with many fine Irish musicians, including Séamus Tansey, Cathal McConnell, Bobby Casey, Raymond Roland and Tommy McCarthy. He won the Senior All Ireland title on the tin whistle in 1979. He took a break from music for many years to pursue a career in teaching, but has happily returned to it following his retirement from full-time work. He released his solo album, Happy to Meet, Sorry to Part, at Return to Camden Town in 2010.