Marion McCarthy was born into a musical family. Her father being the well known uilleann piper and concertina player – Tommy McCarthy. Marion started playing tin whistle when she was seven and by the time she was ten she performed with her father and brother and sisters in various concert halls in and around London. Her family were well known around the Irish music scene. She also won the All England Fleadh Cheoil numerous times on the tin whistle. When she was 16 she and her father played for two years in the National Theatre in London for the Playboy of the Western World – in which Stephen Rea was the playboy.
Marion started playing the uilleann pipes when she was eighteen. She teaches music regularly and teaches annually at the Willie Clancy School in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. She has played in many Countries including England, Scotland and Wales all over Ireland,
In 1986 she played in many places in U.S.A, and in 1989 she travelled and played in Australia, including the Australian Folk Festival. In October 1997 she toured Germany with Elish O’Connor and Joe Derrane. In 1998 she was invited to play in Uganda for the Irish Ambassador as part of St. Patricks’ Day celebrations. In March 2004 she was also invited to play in Shanghai as part of the St. Patricks’ Day celebrations for the Irish Consulate. In 2006 she played at the Festival Au Desert in Mali with the group Aistear.
Some of the recordings she can be heard on include:
The Family Album
The Hidden Note
Between the Jigs and the Reels