Paddy Boyle (Paddy Bhillí na ropaí) (circa 1865-1951/52)

(circa 1865 – 1951/52) Paddy Boyle was born and raised in the townland of Coillte Feannaid some time in the mid 1860’s. As a young player he was influenced by both Anthony Helferty, a fiddler from the north who spent much time in the parish and John Mhósaí McGinley of Loch Inseach. Paddy’s father, William, earned part of his living from manufacturing ropes from bog fir earning him the title ‘Billí na Ropaí.’ Paddy himself was known locally as ‘Paddy Bhillí na Ropaí,’ and it is said that he carried a length of rope with him. When the occasion arose, he would lay it on the ground and proceed to dance around it while playing a dance melody on the fiddle. Very highly regarded as a fiddler and dancer, he influenced many younger players in the parish including Jimí Bhidí Mhicí of Cionn na Coilleadh. Paddy settled in Calhame, Dunkineely where he married Mary Ann (Bell) Tully. He regularly played at weddings in his native parish and in Dunkineely where, like James Lyons he rode on the sidecar, entertaining the newly wedded couple. Paddy was in great demand to play at big nights and convoys (American wakes), and he himself spent a short period of time in the USA. He had a small build with a good physique, broad shoulders and always wore a cap.

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