Eamonn Monaghan (b.1929)

Eamonn Monaghan is a lilter, whistler, singer, dancer and storyteller from the townland of Drumkeelan. Born in 1929, he was surrounded by a strong tradition of dance music through his uncles Eddie, Patrick and Johnny as well as surrounding neighbours. He has a deep appreciation for lilting, dance and the otherworld aspects of which is evident in many of his poems including ‘Lake of Shadows’ and ‘The Old Rambling House’. Eamonn is very proud of the sandstone mines of Upper Drumkeelan where his father and ancestors worked as stone masons as far back as the 12th century. These mines were first excavated by Cistercian monks and sandstone from this quarry was used in the building in many significant buildings including Saint Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny. John Doherty was a regular visitor to the house and Eamonn published a poem in his honour titled ‘The Fiddler’.

The fiddler Johnny Doherty he rosined up his bow,

and with a maestro’s fingering, thrilled the lilting music flow;

The melodies of long ago, he brought back pure and sweet,

tunes to which folk in the clay, once danced with lively feet.