Milo Mullins 1926-2002

Labane, Ardrahan.


    Milo Mullins received his formal musical training from Jack Mulcaire who was a legendary figure in traditional music circles right through Galway and Clare and was the founder member of the famous Aughrim Slopes Ceili Band. Milo grew up in an area rich in traditional music. His contemporaries included Joe Leary, also an Ardrahan man, and Joe and Seamus Cooley from nearby Peterswell. Milo often talked of the many local musicians who influenced him, in particular Mongan Murray, a melodeon player who lived in Tulira. Joe Leary and the Cooley's moved from the area and Milo played with other local musicians, in particular, Peter Gardiner.
     Milo's house then was located next door to the current dwelling in Labane and was a house where he and his wife Tess welcomed everybody but mostly musicians. Joe Leary, Seamus Cooley, Joe Cooley were always welcome to stay the night for the sheer joy the music brought to him and Tess. They were always very proud of the fact that Ciaran Mac Mathuna's first ever recording for his radio programmes of traditional Irish music in County Galway was made in their home. Both Milo and Tess were members of the Loughnane and
Quinn Memorial Hall Committee in Labane. As such they met and became acquainted with many of the great Ceili Band of the fifties including Malachy Sweeney, Johnny Pickering and other famous bands.
     Milo's work for may years took him to all parts of County Clare and in that way he acquired a phenomenal knowledge of the musicians of County Clare. He had a very lasting impression on everybody who met him and this included many musicians who lived and played in the Ardrahan/Kinvara areas in recent years. He loved to share a tune with enthusiastic lovers of Irish music from abroad. This was one of the reasons Milo was such a natural ambassador for Irish music as a member of the Oranmore Seisiun Group with which he performed for may years and entertained throughout Galway, Germany and Scarborough England.
      Milo played with many local traditional groups and the Oranmore Ceili Band. In his later years he enjoyed going to sessions and playing voluntarily for social occasions. He played regularly in the local nursing home in Labane with Peter Gardiner and the late John Moloney, in fact he played there a couple of nights before he died. He also played at Comhaltas sessions in Oranmore and Gort, and sessions in Kinvara, Labane and Ardrahan. He was an enthusiastic participant and supporter of the Cooley-Collins Festival in Gort and the Joe Leary memorial in Labane.
     Milo's own style featured a strong full tone with great preference for the local tunes, which he learned from and shared with his contemporaries. His favorites included Cooley's Reels and Jigs, The Skylark and Roaring Mary, Swallow's Tail, Connachtman's Rambles, The Cat that Ate the Candle, Down the Bog Road and the Leg of the Duck.

Thanks to Pat and Mary Murray, Oranmore and Celine Mullins for putting this page together.

Our branch held a number of sessions in Ardrahan and Milo attended a number of them. A lot of our members hail from Ardrahan and Milo loved nothing more than sit down with the young musicians from the area and have a few tunes with them. He will be missed by all music lovers.