Kevin Sykes - Violin Maker Killeen, Ballyvary, County Mayo, Ireland

'Galway Violins'

I have been making violins since 1985 and established the 'Galway Violins' workshop in High St. Galway, gateway to Connemara and capital of the west of Ireland. From this workshop my instruments and reputation as a full-time master violin maker have travelled far and wide.

Since 1993 my main workshop has been located at my home near the village of Ballyvary in the peaceful countryside of County Mayo, 8 miles from Castlebar and just off the N5, the main Castlebar-Dublin road. I still maintain a workshop by appointment in Galway for the benefit of my clients.

I cater for the needs of the beginner to the professional musician and take pride in providing a personalised and professional service to my customers. My own instruments are highly sought after and can be heard on some of the best traditional recordings made over the last few years the most recent being "Yea, That's all it is!"by John Carty.

I stock only top quality instruments and my workshop provides an ideal and relaxed atmosphere in which to view instruments. The following is a taste of what is on offer at my workshop in Ballyvary.

See Kevin on RTE Nationwide

Filmed at Kevin's workshop and the Lough Inn, Partry, County Mayo at a session with other traditional musicians and broadcast on 16th March 2012.

Visit the Nationwide link on RTE.

Hand made violins and

My own hand-crafted violins and violas which are individually and totally handmade by myself. These violins and violas are hand-made throughout from selected tone woods based on the design principles of the old Italian masters, such as Stradivarius, Guanarius, Amati etc. Commissions undertaken.

Second Hand instruments

Good quality older instruments (violins, violas, violin cellos) which have been completely refitted. Older, unused and unwanted instruments bought or part exchanged.

Imported instruments

Imported hand-made instruments which have been hand-finished in my workshop.

One can only say so much about instruments, after all it is for the quality of their sound that they are made and a personal visit is necessary to sample this.


I carry out expert repairs, restorations and correct fitting up of bowed string instruments, tonal improvements and general advice re upkeep of instruments.

Bow re-hairing service

Fast and efficient bow-rehairing service.


A wide range of accessories including strings, fittings, bows and cases (including mail order service).


My workshop is usually open Monday to Saturday, however, in order to accommodate all my customers personally and to avoid disappointment it is advisable to phone prior to your visit.

Kevin Sykes
County Mayo
Tel: + 353 94 903 1019
Mobile: +353 87 9209080