The English-born exponent of Irish folk culture died yesterday — just months after a concert in his honour was held at the Oliver Plunkett in Cork city.
The former butcher came to Ireland as a tribute to his Cork-born parents, who died when he was a child.
He was instrumental in the establishment of the Cork Folk Festival in 1979 and became immersed in set dancing after seeing it during a visit to Dan O’Connell’s pub in Knocknagree, on the Cork-Kerry border.
He brought set dancing across the world, teaching classes in parts of Europe and the US.
When his death was announced yesterday, one friend in Charlottesville in the US, Lori Madden, wrote: “We’ve had great, fun classes with him here in Charlottesville and on some of our Ireland trips. Such a lovely, kind, funny and talented man.”
A Facebook page called Set Dancing Sydney said: “Very saddened to hear of the passing today of Timmy ‘the Brit’ McCarthy.
“A wonderful teacher who I was lucky to meet at the Willie Clancy Festival many years ago.”
Opera singer Majella Cullagh also paid tribute, tweeting: “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of #IrishTraditionalMusic legend Timmy the Brit. An amazing man!”