16 April 2015

Dermot O'Connor

Readers who recall the scene in Ireland in the 1970s will be sad to learn that Dermot O'Connor (left), who was in several highly talented and popular bands, has had intensive treatment over the past year for a life-threatening condition, and has decided against further medical procedures.

In this situation, Dermot is keeping upbeat: last month he went on a three-week cruise with his Sicilian wife Scina, and he has invited friends to join him in a picking session tomorrow (17 April) at his home in northern Italy. The sympathies and good wishes of all who know Dermot will be with him. Among those taking part will be the legendary fiddler George Kaye.

In the '70s Dermot played mandolin and guitar in the electric folk group Spud, and later with George in Permanent Cure, as well as other groups. About 1980 he and George moved to London and played on different circuits till relaunching Permanent Cure on a successful new career in Germany in the 1990s. They last played together at Dermot's birthday celebration at Brunswick in 2006.

The BIB editor writes:

I very much regret being unable to take this chance of picking with Dermot again. His musicianship - for instance, on such tunes as 'Fisher's hornpipe' - would be intimidating if he weren't at the same time such good company; and I have special reason to be grateful to him for filling, with his customary joie de vivre, the mandolin role on an ersatz version of the Sackville String Band that went up to Belfast c.1978 to support Bill Grant & Delia Bell. Dermot - here's hoping to see you some time, somehow.

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At 10:01 am, Blogger Sheena Lomeo said...

Hello Richard,
We don't know each other. I am Dermot's "Sicilian" wife Sheena. I'm really sorry to give you the sad news that my beloved Dermot passed away on 29 May. April 18 was a humdinger with about 25 musicians and on 12 June we planted a pomegranate tree in our garden and celebrated his life with lots of wonderful music. He holds a special place in so many people's hearts and will be a part of me forever.

At 2:04 pm, Blogger Richard Hawkins said...


Many thanks for the sad news. Anyone who knew Dermot will wish to send you condolences, and I'm sure many have already done so.

As against the sadness, I can only admire the spirit with which Dermot and you confronted the situation and determined to make the best of things - and you did.

With every good wish,


At 10:40 pm, Blogger Maureen said...

Sheena I was an old friend of Dermot during his. Spud days I'm now living in the U.S.A. I heard from Don Knox about Dermot and it really bothered me the memories will live on Roy Condon


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