Photograph: Simona Lakatova.

WORLD FAMOUS composer, Patrick Cassidy visited his former school in Shannon on a recent trip to the county.

Mayo born Patrick first learned to play the piano in Shannon at the age of six under the tutelage of Mrs Vermeer, a Holland native who played the organ in the local church. He attended both St Senan’s NS, Ennis CBS before switching to St Patrick’s Comprehensive School for the Leaving Certificate.

From a family of nine, he lived in Shannon for over ten years and his father served as President of the Chilean Refugee Committee in the town while they lived in Drumgeely Avenue, since 2000 he has lived in Los Angeles.

As a composer, Patrick came to prominence with the release of the Children of Lir, the first major symphonic work written in the Irish language. Recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, it remained at Number One in the Irish Classical Charts for over a year. He was bestowed with a medal of honour and distinguished alumni award from the University of Limerick for this work.

He has provided scores on soundtracks for films including Hannibal, Veronica Guerin, Confessions of a Burning Man, Salem’s Lot and King Arthur. He is a knight of Italy and was conferred by the President of Italy, and bestowed with the title of Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia. Mise Eire, his composition for the official Government commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising was sung by his relative, Sibéal Ní Chasaide.

Patrick returned to St Patrick’s Comprehensive to meet with students and staff, having made a commitment to drop in during a video interview with teacher Clodagh O’Hara which was recorded during the summer of 2020. His brother Frank who serves as his manager and their mother, Kathleen also accompanied Patrick on the visit.

Music students at The Comp were enthralled and enarmoured with the Cassidys as was evident with the questions posed to them and the insights they picked about Patrick’s journal in the classical music industry.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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