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Gifted musician Seán Bourke dies in Castlebar

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Gifted band musician dies in Castlebar


Michael Commins

The death has taken place of Seán Bourke, late of Castle Street and New Line, Castlebar. Sean (77) was a long-time member of the Brose Walsh Band and toured with them throughout Ireland, the UK and America over the decades. He joined the band under the direction of the late Brose Walsh back in the 1960s.
“Seánie was a great favourite with the dancers. He was a quiet and retiring gentleman whose passion in life was music. He started off as a drummer but was a very fine sax player and he spent many years playing sax with our band,” says Tomás Walsh.
His late mother, Madame Bourke, was a brilliant and acclaimed musician and played for many shows in the TF in Castlebar in the years gone by. “In her time she was the leading female musician in the province,” says Tomás. “She also wrote a number of songs. My father recorded one of them, Longing For You All The While, on our second album.”
A most unassuming gentleman, Seán let the music do the talking. “He was truly a gifted musician. Nothing was a problem to him when it came to music. There are not many of his kind around anymore. Occasionally he would sing and his song of choice was always Bless You For Being An Angel.
“Seánie made many friends in the business and they loved to come up and chat to him after the shows. His health began to decline over ten years ago and he had not been with the band for around twelve years now. He was a lovely gentleman and was a great friend of my late father. We will all miss Seánie.”
Seán spent the last decade or so in the care of the staff at Ballinamore Nursing Home near Kiltimagh where his sister Mary was also a resident. She died last July.
Just a year ago this month, Jimmy Deasy, the drummer with the Brose Walsh Band, died suddenly in Castlebar. “We have lost two great friends in the business in twelve months. Both were dedicated to the music and they loved the scene,” stated Tomás.
Removal took place yesterday evening (Monday) from Kilcoyne’s Funeral Home to Castlebar Church and burial will be in Castlebar Old Cemetery after the celebration of Requiem Mass at 11am this Tuesday.