Tony McAuley

Last updated
Tony McAuley
(1939-10-24)24 October 1939
Cookstown, County Tyrone
Died 7 June 2003(2003-06-07) (aged 63)
Glens of Antrim
Resting place Cushendall, County Antrim [1]
Education Queen's University Belfast

Tony McAuley (24 October 1939 – 7 June 2003) was a Northern Irish broadcaster, producer and musician.



Early life and education

McAuley was born Anthony on 24 October 1939 to a chemist from Cookstown, County Tyrone. Tony was the nephew of the famous Glens of Antrim painter Charles McAuley and brother of author and broadcaster Roisin McAuley. [2]

Cookstown town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Cookstown is a town and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is the fourth largest town in the county and had a population of 22,838 in the 2011 census. It is one of the main towns in the area of Mid-Ulster. It was founded around 1620 when the townlands in the area were leased by an English ecclesiastical lawyer, Dr. Alan Cooke, from the Archbishop of Armagh, who had been granted the lands after the Flight of the Earls during the Plantation of Ulster. It was one of the main centres of the linen industry West of the River Bann, and until 1956, the processes of flax spinning, weaving, bleaching and beetling were carried out in the town.

County Tyrone Place

County Tyrone is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland and one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. It is no longer used as an administrative division for local government but retains a strong identity in popular culture.

Glens of Antrim valley

The Glens of Antrim, known locally as simply The Glens, is a region of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It comprises nine glens (valleys), that radiate from the Antrim Plateau to the coast. The Glens are an area of outstanding natural beauty and are a major tourist attraction in north Antrim. The main towns and villages in the Glens are Ballycastle, Cushendun, Cushendall, Waterfoot, Carnlough and Glenarm. The Glens are mentioned in the song "Ireland's Call".

He was educated at Saint Patrick's College, Armagh and later at Queen's University Belfast, where he was a founding member of the Glee Club together with fellow musicians such as Phil Coulter and Paul Brady.

Queens University Belfast public research university in Belfast, Northern Ireland

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After qualifying as an English teacher he taught at St Patrick's College, Belfast before joining the BBC in 1972 in the Schools Department and writing and presenting Today and Yesterday. [3]

St Patricks College, Belfast

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Broadcasting career

His musical ability led him to produce and direct a ground breaking Irish music programme titled As I Roved Out, a programme responsible for giving many musicians their first TV appearance; artists now well known such as Mary Black, Paul Brady, Christy Moore and others.

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In the 1983 he produced The Celts , a television series based on the book by Frank Delaney. In his search for suitable music to accompany the series he came across Enya Brennan, member of the band Clannad whom he had filmed as part of his "As I Roved Out" television series. [4]

Frank Delaney Irish writer and journalist

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Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin ; born 17 May 1961), known professionally as Enya, is an Irish singer, songwriter and musician. Born into a musical family and raised in the Irish-speaking area of Gweedore in County Donegal, Enya began her music career when she joined her family's Celtic band Clannad in 1980 on keyboards and backing vocals. She left in 1982 with their manager and producer Nicky Ryan to pursue a solo career, with Ryan's wife Roma Ryan as her lyricist. Enya developed her sound over the following four years with multitracked vocals and keyboards with elements of new age, Celtic, classical, church, and folk music. She has sung in ten languages.

Tony went on to direct and record many television and radio series including a programme that brought together The Chieftains and Van Morrison. Other programmes included A Portrait of Derek Hill , In Performance, The Flight of the Earls and A Border Childhood. Throughout his time at the BBC he produced and presented numerous radio programmes and continued to present his Folk Club until the week before his death.

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Sir George Ivan MorrisonOBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and record producer. His professional career began as a teenager in the late 1950s playing a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands, covering the popular hits of that time. Van Morrison rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic "Gloria". His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl" in 1967. After Berns's death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks (1968). Though this album gradually garnered high praise, it was initially a poor seller.

Arthur Derek Hill, CBE, HRHA was an English portrait and landscape painter long resident in Ireland.

Death and afterward

Tony McAuley died from cancer on 7 June 2003. His funeral and interment occurred at St Mary's Church in Cushendall, County Antrim. [1] In 2005, Irish singer, songwriter and musician Enya released the song "Amarantine" in memory of him.

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