Ned Stapleton’s (Reel)
Ned Stapleton (1916-1973) was a flute player who was born in Arklow, County Wicklow and was brought up in London. He later moved back to Dublin where he was a good friend of John’s and Sonny Brogan’s in Dublin.
In the audio below, John warmly remembers Ned being a good flute player, composer and lover of music.
Details: Photo of Ned Stapleton and his wife Mairéad.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Ned’s grandson, Eamonn Galdubh.
John Kelly Senior talking about Ned Stapleton and other musicians in Dublin in the mid 20th century.
“Just a few words by the way of ‘Waifs and Strays’ like O’Neill put it in his book when he was writing ‘Waifs and Strays’. I would like to mention a pair of musicians that I used to visit in the old days; George Rowley and Ned Stapleton. Ned is dead now but he was a very versatile man, like, he played a few instruments and he was fairly good on the flute. And he was a great man to compose. A lover of music. I think he was born in Wicklow. He spent some time in England. But he and George Rowley used to play together and we had great nights there with Bill Harte and Sonny – Sonny Brogan – and Tom Mulligan and a few others. At that time Sonny used to take a drink and the half a dozen stout would be ‘brought in, maybe. There was an old man up there in Nicholas Street by the name of Pat Sheilds and we used to meet there on a Sunday night and we’d have a great night’s music. And very few listeners, we played just for the pure love of it.”
Details: John Kelly Senior being interviewed by his son John Kelly Junior about his life. Location: John’s house on Capel Street. Date: 1979.
Credit: John Kelly Juniors interview 1979.
John Kelly Senior playing Ned Stapleton's Reel on the fiddle
Credit: “John Kelly Fiddle & Concertina Player”, Topic Free Reed Records. Additional tracks recorded, 1974.
Notated from above recording.