John McGinley (1892 – 1980)

(23rd July 1892 – 25th May 1980)

John, better known as John Phadaí Chonchobhair, was regarded very highly as a fiddler both in his own townland of Mín na Croise and further afield in the parish of Gleann Cholmcille. He married Mary Ann Cannon of An t-Aireagal, Cill Charthaigh and they had two children together, Pádraig and Máire. As a young man, John encountered the fiddlers and tinsmiths, Alec and Mickey McConnell, who travelled to the area where they manufactured various household utensils for the local homesteads. They also played at big nights in the locality, giving local fiddlers such as John an opportunity to hear a new repertoire of tunes. Several fiddlers from the parish were regular visitors to the McGinley house, including John Haughey of Teileann and Paddy O’Gara of Mín na bhFachrán, both of whom he was related to through marriage. John’s music had a strong influence on many of the local players including the Condys (the Condy McGinley‘s of Mín na Croise ) and James Byrne.