James Meehan (1884 – 1965)
(17th November 1884 – 19th July 1965)
James, Leirg an Dachtáin was the youngest son of James Meehan and Bridget Doogan, an aunt of the fiddler John Doogan, Leitir. James and his older brother, John were married to two sisters, Ellen and Ann McHugh of Mucrois. John was also a highly regarded fiddle player who emigrated to the USA and settled in Indianapolis. Their sister, Kate played melodeon while James himself was a fine fiddler. Another sister, Bridget married Pat McNelis in Gort Sháile, parents of James and Brian McNelis, both of whom played and indeed, as a youth, James McNelis picked up much of his music from James Meehan. In his youth, James and his siblings were steeped in a rich musical heritage through his connection with John Doogan, Leitir and other players from the parish such as Pat Harvey. Tommy, James’ son recalls that travelling players including the Doherty’s and the Friel’s also stayed in Meehan’s house in his father’s youth, a period in which house dances were very much part of the tradition. James inherited the farm and was particularly good with horses. He and Ann had nine of a family, six girls and three boys, each of whom played music but most notably James, John and Tommy.