“I arrived in Dublin with my daughters, Siobhán, Doireann and Síle and needed to make a few bob. I tried busking, firstly on the piano accordion, then concertina. After getting some lessons I kept at it.
“There was a young medical student, Karen, playing tin whistle, we teamed up for years. She was very friendly and outgoing, I was a bit introverted. We got to know the other players, like a nice jazz outfit called the Burglars. We got a few gigs here and there.”
According to Maire making a living has become difficult, but artists like herself have adapted.
“We have found that CDs are very useful. People like to bring home a sample of the street music, so for 8 euros, or a fiver, we let people have one, or sometimes we give a child the CD as a present.
“Irish people, and tourists, are very friendly and responsive to the music. While we will not get rich in cash, less is more, in one sense, we will never go hungry, or be lonely. Every day brings new surprises.”