Michael Sexton (c.1939 – 2003)
Michael Sexton was born in Mullagh, Co. Clare and music was very much a part of everyday life in the Sexton household. Michael’s father, Paddy, played fiddle and drums with the Mullagh pipe band in the 1930s and his mother Margaret had a deep appreciation of music. Michael started playing tin whistle when he was twelve years of age and progressed to the accordion while at school. He played with the Laictín Naofa Céilí Band for three years while still young and appeared on their recording Come to an Irish Dance Party in 1959.
Michael later joined the Kilfenora Céilí Band whom he played with from 1960 to 1975. He appears on their two albums recorded during that period – Clare Céilí and The Kilfenora Céilí Band. In 1975 Michael formed The Bannermen with PJ Murrihy and Jimmy Ward. It was one of the most popular dance bands in Clare for many years. In 1992 Michael formed The Michael Sexton Céilí Band which featured Caroline Tubridy O’Dea (fiddle), Ralph Morgan (banjo), Dave Culligan (vocals & drums) and Georgie Byrt (keyboards), later replaced by Pat Walsh. The band was unusual in playing on luxury world cruises, as well as the normal run of weddings and céilís. They also toured extensively abroad. The Michael Sexton Céilí Band made two recordings: – The Michael Sexton Céilí Band and Mad to Dance (1998).