Date of Birth: 29th October 1929
Place of Birth: Dublin
Date Interviewed: 9th July 2008
Summary: Although he was born in Dublin Leo Carthy was brought up by relatives in Broadway, Co. Wexford and has fond memories of his early childhood. The traditions of the Carne area left a big impression on him and music played a big part in his life. He recalls the time when George Harrison and John Lennon visited Carne as youngsters long before they became famous as members of The Beatles. During the interview Leo gives an example of a singing style called ‘lilting’ – Leo learned this technique by eavesdropping on singing sessions at Traveller encampments. His activities with the Carne Mummers led to a performance before Royalty at London’s Albert Hall. Leo also talks of how he first got involved in local politics and of his long years as a public representative. In conclusion Leo brings the listener with him the short distance from his home to the shrine and altar at Our Lady’s Island. This ancient place is special to Leo, both as a site of devotion and an internationally important bird sanctuary.