THE Limerick music community woke to the sad news on Monday January 20 that Ciaran Murtagh had passed away. Ciaran was a highly regarded Lighting Engineer and a long standing member of Dolan’s Presents production team and also worked with sound hire firm MWS (Murt Whelan Sound) as driver and technician.
If you attended a gig in Dolan’s Warehouse or Live at the Big Top or went to a festival anywhere in the country from Live at Docklands to Electric Picnic, Ciaran probably had a part to play in that show.
Ciaran worked in Dolan’s Warehouse since the earliest days. Mick Dolan paid tribute to his friend and colleague.
“Ciaran was part of our lives in so many ways that it is impossible to imagine Dolan’s without him. He was with us from the very beginning and shared his incredible expertise of the music business in a hugely generous way.
“He knew everyone in the business and kept us all amused with his stories and tales of gigs and musicians and festivals and he was my confidante and friend.”
From 1989 Ciaran worked at The Theatre Royal and designed a new lighting system. Proprietor Seamie Flynn remembers that Ciaran was very protective of the new system.
“He shone a light and dressed a stage from Opera to Bosco, Brendan O’Carroll to Fr Ted and The Cranberries to The Prodigy, may he rest in peace.”
This week, Emma Langford posted a tribute on Facebook calling Ciaran “an intrinsic part of the community.” Her words perfectly reflect the thoughts of many performers who played on his stage.
“A gentleman, a brilliant lighting engineer – he made gigging in Dolan’s a pleasure, he was generous with his time and a friendly face I’d come to expect about the place.”
In my own dealings with Ciaran Murtagh, he was always welcoming and very helpful in getting gigs set up, and always put on a quality light show that responded to the music and enhanced everyone’s experience.
Many times in Dolan’s, in that “sweet spot” between soundcheck and showtime, we would get to sit down and catch up on the news and have a laugh – I will miss that. He was one of the best.
My condolences to his family, his colleagues and his many, many friends.