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Eileen, a flute player, grew up in the Bronx before moving to Westwood, New Jersey. Her parents, immigrants from west Clare, were active members of the Doonbeg Social Club. Eileen attended the club dances and was soon sitting in with the older players. She studied the piano accordion with Martin Mulvihill, taught herself the whistle and went for further instruction to Maureen Glynn. She put the music aside for a few years as she went to university and then started a family and a career with the Federal Reserve Bank, but came back in the mid-90s, when she picked up the timber flute and got lessons from Sligo man Pat Casey. Soon she was teaching herself, as well as playing for dancing with the Green Gates Ceili Band, a group that included Pat Casey, Eileen’s button accordionist cousin John Kennedy and fiddler Rose Flanagan.