Multi-instrumentalist Aaron Mackessy is from the small community of Clough in west Laois.
Aaron started playing music aged 8 and with over 5 years teaching experience under his belt, Aaron has a lot to offer in the realm of teaching, in particular banjo, mandolin, and tenor guitar which are his specialty. Having already been a teacher with Portlaoise CCÉ during this time, Aaron has seen the banjo, mandolin, duet, and trio programs there go from strength to strength under his care.
Aaron recently completed a Bachelor of Education at Mary Immaculate College Limerick in 2020, with primary school aged children experiencing great success under Aaron’s guidance and many of Aaron’s pupils have experienced county and provincial success to date. Aaron is also a Comhaltas certified teacher having completed his TTCT diploma in 2022.
Aaron is the holder of 20 Leinster titles across numerous age groups and instruments and holds 6 all Ireland placings having qualified for his first All-Ireland Fleadh in Cavan in 2011.
Aaron was the staff director and organiser of “Trad Teasers”, a project ran in 2018 alongside Laois County Council and Laois CCÉ, which provided children from all walks of life a chance to experience Irish Traditional Music for the first time. Aaron attests to the high calibre of teaching he was fortunate enough to receive in his youth, in particular from James and Robert Harvey and Paula Dowling-McDonald, all of whom helped Aaron become the musician he is today and cannot state how thankful he is for their guidance throughout his budding career.
Aaron is the current Youth Officer in Leinster Comhaltas and manages the Leinster Youth Group, Ceoltóirí Óga Laighean, a project started in 2022 in response to the emerging need to provide a social space for Leinster’s late teenagers to collaborate and form connections to serve the future. The group has progressed quickly and is flourishing under the Aaron’s management and musical direction of Robert Harvey with sold out performances at Fleadh Laighean and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann already under the group’s belt. Aaron is also the Treasurer in Laois Comhaltas.