Original acrylic painting on 12"x 12" stretched canvas.
PECKER DUNNE (1933-2012)
Musician, singer, songwriter and storyteller.
Pádraig Dunne was born in a horse-drawn caravan in Castlebar, County Mayo, into a traveller family of acclaimed musicians and show people(his grandmother was a tightrope walker).
As a teenager his family called him Major Packard after a man he rode horses for. His younger sister had trouble pronouncing Packard and would say Pecker. His uncle pointed out how that’s a great name, and so it stuck.
His father(The Fiddler Dunne) gave him his first fiddle when he was 8. He went on to master many traditional instruments including mandolin, guitar, concertina, and is one of Irelands most celebrated banjo players. But it is the songs he has written and his distinctive voice that has gone on to inspire many noted musicians around the world.
From street musician to Carnegie Hall, he has played nationally and beyond, with traditional acts such as Christy Moore, The Fureys and The Dubliners. He performed in the 1996 film Trojan Eddie, set in the Travelling community.
Pecker Dunne is on multiple recordings, but only made two albums of his own - ‘Introducing The Pecker’(1976) when he was 43, and ‘The Tinker Man’(1987). Popular songs of his are ‘Wexford’, ‘Tinkers Lullaby’, ‘The Last of the Traveling People’ and ‘Sullivan's John’.
Pecker Dunne as well as Margaret Barry and Johnny Doran(all travellers) did more to promote Irish traditional music than anyone. Luke Kelly was known to frequently state that Travellers saved traditional music.
Pecker’s later years were lived in Killimer, County Clare with his wife Madeleine and four children, all of whom play musical instruments and continue his musical legacy.