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Turlough Carolan

(1670-1738), Blind Irish bard

Sitter in 1 portrait
Born in 1670 near Nobber, County Meath in Ireland, Carolan's family moved in 1684 to Ballyfarnon where his father took a job with the MacDermotteRoe family. Mrs MacDermottRoe gave him an education. Carolan was blinded by smallpox at the age of eighteen and was apprenticed to a good harper. From the age of twenty-one Carolan travelled all across Ireland with his horse and guide composing songs for patrons and performing his tunes. He married Mary Maguire in 1720 and had seven children. Carolan's Concerto has been used as a neutral Slow March by the Foot Guards of the British Army during the ceremony of Trooping the Colour.

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Turlough Carolan, after Unknown artist - NPG D1214

Turlough Carolan

after Unknown artist
mezzotint, late 18th-early 19th century
NPG D1214

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