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Liam Kelly is a native of Sligo and a founding member of the band Dervish. He began playing traditional Irish music at a very young age, born into a musical family. He started on the accordion but later switched to the whistle and in turn the flute, mainly learning from local player Carmel Gunning. He is a veteran of many competitions, where he met Shane Mitchell. This friendship lead to Poitin, a traditional group they formed while still at school. The level of success and media attention this group received was remarkable, including several TV and radio appearances and success in many competitions. Major concerts and tours were offered on the strength of their performances, but exam pressures and their young ages prevented them from capitalizing on their success.