It was in the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, on the 30th of March 1969, Seán Ó Riada, Ceoltóirí Chualann and Seán Ó Sé gave a concert to commemorate the bicentenary of the death of Oriel poet Peadar Ó Doirnín. The concert was produced by Seán Ó Mórdha.
To maximise attendance Gael Linn workers were tasked with phoning Dublin citizens in the phone book with their name in Irish. The ploy paid off. The concert and the subsequent record release was a watershed in Irish traditional music. Writing of Ó Riada for the sleeve notes Seán Mac Réamoinn believed, ‘… one might well have expected remarkable things from one whose genius and influence, especially in the decade before his death, had brought about radical transformation of the Irish musical scene.’
Many of the pieces performed for Ó Riada sa Gaiety are by Carolan, 18th century predecessor to Ó Riada. The tracks on the album, their arrangement and delivery have contributed greatly to the restoration of our musical heritage inspiring subsequent generations. Ceoltóirí Chualann was at the time a traditional music ensemble directed by and including Seán Ó Riada. The performing artists for Ó Riada sa Gaiety went on to become household names such as Seán Ó Sé, Paddy Moloney, Eamon de Buitléir, Peadar Mercier, Martin Fay, Sean Keane, John Kelly, Seán Potts and Micheal Tubridy.