Matt and his daughter Ita in the IrishTV studios.

Matt Cunningham's 50 years on the road

LEGENDARY box player Matt Cunningham will talk about his 50-year career on a special IrishTV programme this Thursday, July 24, at 8 p.m. on Sky channel 191, Freesat 400, Eircom’s eVision, all free-to-air boxes and online at

The Headford native, who is embarking on another whirlwind UK tour, said he hopes to play as long as his fingers keep moving. “Music is in my blood. My father and grandfather played. I remember as a young fellow listening to house sessions around Headford and you could see that music was important to people. There was something special about the bond between musicians and I wanted to be part of it.”

Matt has played in every county in Ireland over the past 50 years, with regular tours and shows in America, England, Italy, France and Greece.  He delights his audience every night with a dazzling selection of reels, hornpipes and jigs that are inspiring and uplifting.

This week Matt Cunningham and his band embark on another voyage across the Irish Sea for his 26th UK tour. “The interest in traditional music and in particular in set dancing is phenomenal in Britain. People come from right across the UK to our ceilithe and they dance set after set.  I love meeting the same people and the camaraderie and friendships continue to flourish every year.  It is like a pilgrimage to us at this stage,” he said.

Thursday night’s special will be repeated on Friday at 9 p.m.