Tara Connaghan is from Glenties, Co. Donegal, in the North West of Ireland. Her principle influences are Vincent and Jimmy Campbell, Danny Meehan, the late James Byrne and the older generation of fiddle players in the area, including the distinguished recordings of travelling fiddle maestro John Doherty.
Along with fellow Donegal fiddler, Derek McGinley, she released a well-received recording, Far Side of the Glen – Derek McGinley & Tara Connaghan, focusing on the fiddle style and repertoire specific of the southwest Donegal region, grant aided by the Arts Council Ireland.
‘This is not the “flashy” playing so often heard today; each note is given its chance to express itself properly – the music talks to you, as it should. No excessive speed, no attempts at fusion with other styles, just good, honest Donegal fiddling as we used to hear it years ago…’
John Waltham, The Living Tradition Magazine, UK
She has made a number of guest appearances on CDs including Dr. Liz Doherty & Fiddlesticks (2000), Leonard Barry Mind the Pipes (2002) and Eoin O’Neill In Session (2003). She also presented a TG4 Geantraí programme from Carlow in 2010 featuring musicians from the south east of Ireland.
She completed an uilleann pipe making course with Na Píobairí Uilleann.
Tara has been with the IMO since 2013, initially as project manager and then she joined became 1st Deputy Fiddle player. She’s performed with the IMO on numerous occasions since, including a memorable trip to South Korea in 2015.