Johnny Boyle (1888 – 1968)

(6th June 1888 – 10th October 1968)

Johnny Boyle of An Bhráid Íochtarach is remembered locally as a very fine fiddle player. Though he lived all his adult life at the home house, Johnny had a lot of musical contact with older players of the parish such as John and Pat Leslie of An Curraoin, John Phadaí Chonchobhair, Mín na Croise and James Lyons of An Gaineamh. It is likely that Johnny’s music was influenced by his relatives and close neighbours, William and Audley Osbourne. It is said that Audley was one of the finest fiddlers of the nineteenth century in Gleann Cholmcille who was equally at home playing classical as well as traditional music. Johnny came into contact with the travelling musicians of the time such as the McConnells and the Dohertys and they often stayed at the Boyle house while travelling through south-west Donegal. He was a regular visitor to the house of fiddler and great friend, Jimmy Bhidi Mhici of Cionn na Coilleadh. Other playing partners included Patrick Doherty of Srath Laoill Theas, a close relative of Johnny’s.

‘Johnny Boyles Jig’ performed by Dominic Gallagher