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Family Tree of Composer Frederick May

The four provinces of Ireland are well represented in the family tree of Irish composer, Frederick May (1911- 1985) whose works include Spring Nocturne, Prison Songs (words by Ernst Toller) & Sunlight and Shadow, but whose struggle with deafness shortened a promising career. The discovery recently by Dr Mark Fitzgerald of TCD of a lost piece, Symphonic ballad, has boosted the composer’s profile in recent years.

The May family had strong ties to Ballinrobe. May's great-grandfather, Thomas May, (1825-1889) served as clerk of the Ballinrobe Union for most of his life and lived at Abbey Street in the town. May's grandfather, Thomas May Jnr., married a member of the McCloughrys of Cleghill, Newtownforbes, Co. Longford, a colourful farming family of Scottish origin.