Paul Keating is a native New York City boy whose parents hailed from County Clare. Reared in a household where Irish music and dance (country sets) were carried from the “Old Country,” it was no surprise that he developed his own interest in Irish folk music and dance after graduating from college in New York. The nascent Irish Arts Center forming in 1972 inspired him to take Irish ceili lessons and he was an early member and fervent follower to the blossoming Irish music session scene around New York at that time and later became a teacher of Irish Ceili folk dancing earning a T.M.R.F. degree. He would later organize concerts and festivals for the Irish Arts Center.
In 1983, he joined the Killoran-Clancy Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in Queens and he remains deeply involved in CCE today serving as its North American Provincial Public Relations Officer and delegate to its Executive Council in Dublin. He was actively involved in organizing ten North American Conventions which were really weekend festivals of Irish music and dance.
Combining both his IAC and Comhaltas roles, he was a seminal figure in sparking the Set Dancing Revival in North America through organizing extensive workshop tours for dancing masters Joe and Siobhan O’Donovan, Timmy the Brit McCarthy, Connie Ryan and the Slievenamon Set Dancing Club, Donncha O’Muinneachain, Mick Mulkerrin and Mairead Casey and Padraig and Roisin McEneany.
In 1995, he was a founding consultant and teacher of the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham where he has served in some capacity for most of the 24 years and as Artistic Director from 2003 until 2012. He is an Irish music and dance journalist who has written a weekly column for the Irish Voice newspaper in New York since 2003.