Donegal County Council has honoured Shawn Cuddy with a ‘Civil Honour’ certificate at a municipal reception, in recognition of his many acts of kindness to those residing in care homes during the pandemic, and his contribution to tourism in the county.

Shawn, who hails from Camross in Co Laois is a member of a well-known hurling family, and has resided in Donegal for 34 years.

It was a special occasion for Shawn and his wife Roberta along with family and friends. The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Martin Harley, and Cllr Patrick McGowan were among the speakers leading the tributes to Shawn.


“I was overwhelmed when I heard that they were giving me this special reception and award,” says Shawn.

“During the pandemic, all the singers and musicians were off the road. I took a job working in Brentwood Manor Nursing Home in Convoy. Outside of work hours, John McHugh from Strabane and myself performed many singing sessions, some outside the windows, at the care homes around the region. A lot of people enjoyed those sing-songs and it gave them something to look forward to in those bleak times.”

“I never expected an award of this nature. I always thought that these were for people from the county, so I am deeply grateful as a Laois man to accept this special accolade. I want to thank all at Donegal County Council for this tremendous honour,” says Shawn.

Part of the award was in recognition of Shawn’s promotion of Donegal in England and Scotland and for attracting so many to his annual get-together party shows.

Shawn is hosting a dancing weekend in the Allingham Arms Hotel in Bundoran from 12-16 April. Joining him and his band will be Declan Nerney, John Glenn, Patrick Feeney, Susan McCann, Gary Gamble, Jim Devine, Curtis Magee, David James, Des Willoughby, Barry Doyle and Richie Remo.

Full details from Shawn’s Facebook and

Kevin Sheerin

Back on track

Westmeath native, Kevin Sheerin has rendered incredible service to the country music scene in Ireland for over five decades. All of 35 years after his debut album, My Father’s House, he has just released his second album to the delight of his many friends at home and overseas.

Kevin, from Castledaly near Moate, came to prominence during the 1970s as lead and steel guitar player with the hugely acclaimed Hillbillies band that was fronted by Ray Lynam. Widely regarded as one of the greatest ‘all country’ bands ever to grace the stages of Ireland, they enjoyed massive popularity and this was much to the fore again in recent years when they undertook a number of reunion shows around the country.

After 17 years with Ray and the band, he spent the next 19 touring the world with the Daniel O’Donnell band and seven more with Jimmy Buckley’s band before retiring from the circuit in 2015.

Kevin, often referred to as the ‘quiet spoken’ musician and singer, has played sessions on numerous albums over the decades.

The new album, Eternity, has 18 tracks of which 14 are written by Kevin. These include new recordings of three of the most popular songs from his first album, My Father’s House, Nancy Myles and Another Town.

One song that looks set to become a standard is The Town of Athlone that has already been recorded by Tony Allen on his new album and where Kevin has resided for many years.

He invited his sons David, Barry and Cormac, his daughters Susan and Anita and his granddaughter Jessica Rogers to join him on this special venture.

“David and Susan give a lovely rendition of two old classics, The Gambler and Sonny, while Barry and Cormac sing three of my songs on the album,” says Kevin. “As for Anita, none of us knew she could sing until she blew us away with an Ed Sheeran classic, Afterglow. I have also included one instrumental played on the steel guitar called Hawaii Tattoo that I played almost every night when on stage with Ray and The Hillbillies. It was such a popular tune as some people just loved to hear the steel guitar.”

Details are available on the Kevin Sheerin Facebook page.

Aishling Rafferty

Celebrating 20 years

They sure know how to keep it country down Tipperary way. Tipp Midwest Radio, launched in April 2004, is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is one of the most successful of all the community stations in the country.

Cahir House Hotel will host a gala concert in honour of the occasion on Tuesday night, April 30. The line-up features Seán Keane, John Glenn, Pat McKenna, PJ Murrihy, Effie Neill, Aishling Rafferty and Martin Cuffe with Off the Kuff band from Donegal providing the music for all the acts.

Country music has played a central role in establishing such a hugely loyal following since it went on air. The availability of the station online via the internet has added greatly to its outreach beyond the local FM region.

Tickets for the show, are €25 and are available from the Tipp Midwest Office in Tipperary Town.