Go into any Irish home especially in rural Ireland and you will surely find a musical instrument. In many cases this a fiddle — hanging conveniently on the wall to be taken down at a gathering of neighbours or ceili. This has been part of the Irish way of life for years now and it has been one of the reasons why Ireland has given to the world many fine traditional musicians. Not least among these has been Seán McGuire who has joined the legendary players of years past to become himself a legend in his own time.
Seán was raised in the early forties in Belfast. Then in Belfast there was a small circle of people who had a deep-rooted interest in Irish culture and in this circle Seán McGuire shone like a beacon.
He played at the Belfast Feis and at the many Scoraiochts which were a feature of the time.
During this time several people with a deep interest in Irish culture — notably Jim and Seán Seeny, Leo Rowsome, Frank Dalton, Paddy Mcllvenny and Kitty Harrington met with the idea of forming some form of association for the promotion of the Gaelic arts. As a result of this meeting we have today Comhaltas Geoltoiri Eireann. At that same meeting in the Piper's Club in Dublin the task of organising the northern branch of the association was given to Seán McGuire. This he did, enlisting the help of Frank McPeake and Eamonn O'Connor.
Seán through his playing continued to promote the musical aspect of Gaelic culture but after some years circumstances forced him to leave his native Belfast and take the road to exile.
Happily he returned some years later to Co. Cavan, the birthplace of his father (himself no mean performer on piccolo and whistle). It is here he still lives and continues to play the music he loves — as only he can.