- 02 Mar 21
Born in Birr, County Offaly, the singer-songwriter and storyteller became the first Irish Traveller to receive the TG4 Singer of the Year Award in 2019.
The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) will collaborate with renowned folk artist Thomas McCarthy to preserve the songs and stories of the Traveller Community living in Ireland for a new initiative.
ITMA’s mission is to be the national public archive and resource centre for Irish traditional music, song and dance, and the globally-recognised specialist advisory agency to advance appreciation, knowledge, and the practice of Irish traditional music.
Announcing the news on Twitter, just after Traveller Ethnicity Day on March 1, ITMA's latest partnership will add a new and much-needed layer to their archives.
Thomas McCarthy credits his mother, Mary McCarthy, and his grandfather, Johnny McCarthy with much of his repertoire, and has used activism to gain recognition for the Travelling community’s singing tradition.
McCarthy has been singing since he was a child, and started collecting his family's songs around 20 years ago to save them from being lost if anything happened to his mother.
He has since released multiple noteworthy recordings, including Round Top Wagon (2010), Herself and Myself (2014), and, with Gypsy singer Viv Gregg, Jauling the Green Tober (2017).