Fiddle player and composer Tommy Peoples has been elected to Aosdana.
Born near St Johnston in Donegal, Tommy Peoples has been a member of traditional Irish music groups 1691 and the Bothy Band and an influential and respected player in his own right. He lives in Co Clare.
Aosdána was set up in 1981 by Charlie Haughey to honour those who have made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland. It also carries a not insignificant stipend. The existing members of Aosdana decide who becomes a new member.
The election of Tommy Peoples is also significant in that it recognises the role of traditional music within the arts in Ireland. An effort by artist and bodhran player Brian Burke and others over a decade ago to have Co Galway fiddler and composer Paddy Fahey elected to Aosdana failed. Donal Lunney, however, made it to Aosdana.
Writer Pat McCabe (Butcher Boy) and artist Frances Hegarty were also elected to Aosdana.
Tommy Peoples website