By Dan Walsh
Numerous tributes have marked, the sudden death of accordionist, composer, literary figure, broadcaster, historian and gentleman, to name but a selection, but not all, of the multi-talented and highly respected Wexfordian, Liam Gaul.
Wexford Male Voice Choir have paid tribute. “Liam could always be called upon to recount stories of places the choir had performed and people that had passed through the ranks. We were proud to make a presentation to him in 2016 in the Choir Hall for his many years of service. All of Wexford Male Voice Choir mourn his passing and he will be remembered fondly as a great musician, historian and MC but mostly as a great friend to us throughout his life. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time.”
Craobh Loch Garman CCÉ/Wexford Town Comhaltas said; “We are deeply saddened at the passing of legendary son of Wexford Liam Gaul. Liam was for so many years hugely influential in traditional Irish music not only here in Wexford but also right across the island of Ireland. We wish to extend our deepest sympathy to Liam’s family and his many and wide circle of friends.”
Liam Gaul is a native of Wexford town and had a passion for the history of his own place. His origins go back to the long defunct English’s printing works on Wexford Quay where he qualified as a bookbinder.
He was a writer of many books, a regular contributor to historical journals, periodicals and newspapers, and had his own summer radio series on South East Radio. He was Hon. Editor of the Journal of the Wexford Historical Society and a contributor of articles to the legendary Ireland’s Own magazine.
He lectured to historical societies, libraries and local schools. A graduate of the University of Limerick, The National University of Ireland (Maynooth) and the Open University. He is president of Wexford Historical Society.
He was given a Civic Award in 1992 from the Mayor and Wexford Corporation for his contribution to Culture and Education in his native town.
He was also a talented musician and wrote books about music and composers.
More recently Liam was awarded a special medallion for his long service to Irish traditional music by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.
Liam Gaul’s long list of publications include Masters of Irish Music, Glory O Glory O; The Life of PJ McCall, A Window on the Past, Wexford-The American Connection, Johnstown Castle; A History (2014), Wings Over Wexford (2017), Famous Wexfordians (2019), Tales, Traditions and Folklore of Wexford, Vols. 1 and 2.
I had a long and successful association with Liam Gaul, so many radio interviews, reviewing his books for The Wexford Echo newspaper, and appreciated his vast knowledge, his passion for the history of his own place, his studious pursuit of research, and the personal satisfaction that he derived from his new work as it hit the bookshelves and his readers began to savour even more Wexford history and heritage.
If something needed to be done, it was treated professionally and presented impeccably. That was Liam Gaul’s way! We will miss a great friend but rejoice in his legacy – an irreplaceable collection of Wexford history and heritage in the everlasting archive of the printed words. Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dilis.
Funeral arrangements private.