From Gallarus to Slane: Dáithí Ó Sé

From Gallarus to Slane: Dáithí Ó Sé

Dáithí Ó Sé in conversation with Richard Fitzpatrick.


“Our pre-teens would have been taken up with playing football. We had a four-and-a-half mile cycle back to Gallarus, which was the local Gaeltacht football pitch, training, and then cycling home again. There might have been about eight or nine of us cycling together. One of them went on tobecome the Kerry captain in 2004 – Dara Ó Cinnéide.

"We’d always stop in the shop coming home. You might have 20 pence. It would buy you a pack ofTaytos. There was one fella.

"He always had a few bob because he was selling sheep and cattle with the crowd at home, and he’d say, ‘I’m going for round two’, and he’d come back out with an ice-cream or something.

"Jaysus, we were all jealous. We’d be looking for a bite or the end of the ice-cream off him."

Young Adulthood

“I didn’t go on holidays until my mid-twenties because you couldn’t afford it. You went to certain concerts. That was your holiday. I remember going to the Guns N’ Roses concert at Slane Castle, 16th of May, 1992. For years, I had posters of Guns N’ Roses all over my bedroom.

"Then when we were in third year in school, we heard that Guns N’ Roses were coming to Slane so myself and another fella called Shane Whelan, from the class, we took off the Friday.

His mother bought the tickets and we paid her back from money we made working. There was an oil truck stuck in traffic and we got a lift in the back of it, all the way into Slane.

"We were meeting friends of Shane’s who were in boarding school from Waterford and we all slept in a shed near Slane Castle.

"Faith No More supported. Then Guns N’ Roses started off with ‘Night Train’. It was just unbelievable altogether. It was a scorching day. I had the long hair and the big cowboy boots at the time. I was Axl Rose, or I thought I was anyway."


“These summers are very structured. I finish the Today show. I’ll be off for a bit. Rita and Mícheál, our five-year-old, will go to America for about six weeks.

I’ll go for a week and come home and continue working. I go back over for their last week and we’ll come home together and I’ll do the Rose of Tralee.

"I’ll try to sneak a day or two in Galway while they’re away and I might hit Willie Clancy Week as well while I have the opportunity. I was at Willie Clancy last year and I hadn’t been in about eight or nine years before that. I teamed up with an old buddy who I hadn’t seen in a while. We started back in Quilty.

"We went as far as the Armada in Spanish Point, and did a full round of Miltown Malbay, going from pub to pub, having a drink in every pub and not staying too long in any one place.

"I’d be the kind who’d go out during the day; you’ve a different kind of client than at night time. We came back and stayed in the Armada with John Burke. ’Tis great for the soul."

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