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In 1975, Séamus moved to Naul to live out his remaining years on the land which had once belonged to his grandparents, by now owned by the MacNally family, of whom Séamus became very fond. He felt very much at home here and loved the area, noting that he never cared much for any city and that he was a countryman at heart. He was an able cook who could deal expertly with game, although sadly as illness developed he ate less and lost interest in food. What he never tired of was the tradition which was at the centre of his life, nor did he tire of the company of friends. An intensely private man, close friends from the world of music, his son and daughter and those more locally will attest to late nights (and early mornings) spent with Séamus at Easter Snow, the name he gave (after the air of that name) to the plot of land on which he lived, exchanging stories and limericks (all hilarious but often of dubious taste!), playing cards, and listening to and playing songs and tunes. The Séamus Ennis Arts Centre is situated adjacent to this site.


Séamus continued playing around Ireland and overseas right up to the time he lost his battle with cancer in October 1982 aged 63. Some of his last performances included the Willie Clancy Summer School and the Lisdoonvarna Folk Festival.


A CD of Séamus’ music entitled ‘The Return from Fingal’ was compiled by Piper and Radio Producer, Peter Browne. Sourced from 40 years of acetate and tapes in the Radio Eireann and later RTE archives and released in 1997, the CD is available from The Séamus Ennis Arts Centre.


During the course of his lifetime, Séamus Ennis’ work in collecting songs, tunes and folklore has resulted in a wealth of music that would otherwise have been lost forever. His work can and should never be underestimated.

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