Bridget O’Gara (1923 – )
Bridget O’Gara (29th July 1923 – )
Bridget was born and raised at Léim an Gadhra in the parish of Ard an Ratha where she grew up in a very musical household. Both her sister, Peg (fiddle) and brother, Lanty (melodeon) played but Bridget was attracted to the melodeon which she played from the age of six or seven. As a young girl, Bridget recalls learning tunes by ear from her brother Willie, who would often whistle them for her after coming home from a big night. As well as listening to local musicians, she was influenced by the playing of Mary Boyle (nee O’Gara), of Abhainn tSeiscinne who was married to Bridget’s uncle, James Hiúdaí Boyle. Bridget married Denis O’Gara from An Clochán, Gleann Cholmcille but later settled at Garbhros where they reared a large family. Bridget took up the melodeon again in her eighties, played at many concerts and gatherings in the locality and introduced a new repertoire of tunes to a younger generation.