Waltons Music was founded in 1922 by Martin Walton and is still to this day a family run business celebrating four generations of tradition, and a mission to bring music to homes all across Ireland and the wider world. Our founder, Martin Walton, was an accomplished violinist and Feis Ceoil winner as well as a revolutionary figure in Irish History in the early part of the 20th Century.
At the age of fifteen Martin, already a member of the Irish Volunteers, took part in the Easter Rising of 1916 and later fought in the Irish War of Independence. During the war Martin was arrested and imprisoned in Ballykinlar Internment camp in Co. Down, where he founded and ran the camp orchestra alongside other well known internees.
In 1922 Martin turned to his love of music and opened Waltons first music store on North Frederick Street, Dublin 1, which would remain in that location until 2013. Martin also established the Dublin College of Music during that time and in the 1920’s and 30’s began manufacturing musical instruments and publishing collections of music, including our hugely popular songbook series, laying the foundations of our music company which has become an integral part of the music industry in Ireland today.
Waltons, in the early years also became a mecca for visiting Irish immigrants who brought these instruments and songbooks back to their growing Irish communities overseas, and began our tradition of exporting our traditional Irish music and instruments worldwide.
At home in Ireland however, Martin was most commonly remembered for the Waltons radio programme, which was first broadcast in 1952 and featured recordings from the Waltons Glenside label. The programmes which always ended with the line “if you do feel like singing, do sing an Irish song” continued to be broadcast and presented by Leo Maguire until 1981.
Waltons New School of Music which was opened in 1994 on South Great Georges Street, not only provides musical classes and workshops, but runs numerous external programs such as The Waltons World Masters Series, Waltons Music for Schools Competition, Music at work programs. Additionally, Waltons New School of Music offers outreach programs, that attract over three thousand students each year of all ages and skill levels, and offers tuition in the widest range of instruments and music genres of any school in Ireland.
In the interim years the Waltons Music company has been expanded and grown from that first shop on Frederick street to include stores in, Navan, Camden street, Blanchardstown and South great Georges street, which in 2007 appeared in the movie Once where Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová perform the Oscar-winning song Falling Slowly. These stores were later consolidated into our superstore in Blanchardstown.
Today, through our Blanchardstown store and our online music store, the largest Irish online music store, we continue to serve the musical needs of the Irish community. We also continue our proud tradition in music publishing and manufacturing of musical instruments and have continued to export traditional Irish instruments, music books, and tutors to Irish music lovers in Europe, Australia, Japan, North and South America as well as to over three hundred music and gift shops throughout Ireland.
We are proud to say that nearly one hundred years after we first opened our doors, Waltons Music is still an independent family-run business that remains dedicated to offering our customers the best possible service and widest range of musical products in Ireland.
From all of us at Waltons Music, we would like to thank all our customers for their continued support through the years and look forward to many more together.