- 19 Jul 17
The daughter of legendary Irish musician Sean O Riada, Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has carved out a niche for herself as a no-nonsense champion of the working class. In a highly revealing interview, she discusses the pain of losing both her parents at an early age, coping with the tragic death of her first husband, her views on terrorism, sexism in politics – and much else besides.
The great Irish composer Seán Ó Riada had achieved iconic status when he died, way back in 1971 at the age of just 40. With his compositions for the films Mise Éire (1960) and Saoirse (1961) he became a household name. He was also the prime mover with the trad band Ceoltóirí Chualann, with whom his legendary album O Riada Sa Gaeity was made.
He is still widely regarded as the single most influential figure in the revival of Irish traditional music during the 1960s. It is something of which his daughter, Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada, is understandably proud.
“I don’t live in his shadow – I live in his light,” Liadh tells me, as she sits down at her home in Cork for this exclusive interview with Hot Press.