CRONIN, Paddy Renowned Kerry fiddler, Paddy Cronin passed away on Saturday, March 15th at Kerry General Hospital in Tralee, Ireland. He was 88. Paddy was born in Gneeveguilla, Ireland in 1925. At an early age he became a pupil of the legendary music teacher, Padraig OKeefe. In the late 1940s he recorded several acetate discs for Radio Eirann. These discs have been preserved in the Traditional Music Archives in Dublin, Ireland. In 1949 he emigrated to the United States on the Marine Flaschner. In 1951 he married Cornelia Curran. Together they had six children. After a short stint in Chicago, they settled in the Boston area, living in Roslindale, West Roxbury, and Needham. During the 1970s, Paddy recorded several albums of traditional Irish music, including Music in the Glen, House in the Glen, The Rakish Paddy, and Kerrys Own Paddy Cronin. Throughout his years in Boston, Paddy traveled to Ireland each summer for the Fleadh Cheoil and was a regular participant in the many lively sessions of traditional Irish music. In 1990 Paddy moved back to his beloved Ireland and made a home with his wife Connie in Ballycasheen. He lost his wife in 2009. In 2007, Paddy was a recipient of the prestigious Gradam Saoil Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his prolific contribution to traditional Irish music and culture. He was an annual performer at The Gathering, played in many pubs and venues in and around Killarney and was always a part of the craic. His creative and imaginative renditions of traditional tunes were truly one of a kind and will live on as his legacy. Paddy leaves his six children, Michael Cronin and his wife Cecelia of Everett, Patrick Cronin and his wife Janet of Duxbury, Eileen Breen and her husband Joe of Portadown, Northern Ireland, Vincent Cronin and his wife Suzanne of San Francisco, California, Marguerite Riley and her husband Thomas of Sharon, and Daniel Cronin of Ballycasheen, Ireland. He leaves thirteen grandchildren, Michelle Cronin of Everett, Patricia Wheeler and her husband David of Rowley, Helen Lancaster and her husband Ryan of Memphis, Arkansas, Sean Cronin and his wife Maureen of Kingston, Diane Kildea and her husband Mark of Saunderstown, Rhode Island, Neil and Julie Cronin of Duxbury, Patrick Breen and his wife Karen of Cushendall, Northern Ireland, John and Seamus Breen of Portadown, Northern Ireland, Ellen Cronin of San Francisco, California, and Ryan and Aidan Riley of Sharon. Also survived by seven great grandchildren, Jack, Della and Patrick Cronin of Kingston, Caoimhe and Niamh Breen of Cushendall, Northern Ireland, Brody Kildea of Saunderstown, Rhode Island, and Madeline Lancaster of Memphis, Arkansas. In addition to his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, Paddy is survived by a sister, Kathleen ODonoghue of Killarney, Ireland, a brother, Father Daniel Cronin of Columbia, Connecticut, and a brother in law, John Curran of Winchester. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. A rosary will be said for Paddy at OSheas Funeral Home in Killarney, Ireland on Monday, March 17th, a wake will be held on Tuesday, March 18th, and a funeral mass will be said on Wednesday, March 19th. Paddy will be laid to rest in Aghadoe Cemetery. Photo by Tony Kearns
Published in Boston Globe from Mar. 17 to Mar. 18, 2014.