Paddy Gillespie (Paddy Dhonail) (1914-1992)

Paddy Gillespie (Paddy Dhonail)

(6th January 1914 – 22nd November 1992 Paddy, a fiddle player, was married to Maggie McGinley, also from Mín na Croise. They had seven children together, one of whom, Cathal lives at home with his wife Deirdre. Paddy was very good with his hands and his father, Donal and grandfather, Andy were renowned locally for their skill in building and carpentry. Indeed, a fiddle was manufactured in the Gillespie house before Paddy’s time. As a young man he played at house dances with his good friend and melodeon player, Michael Gillespie (Micí Mhuiris) of Mín an Draighin. He was also friendly with the fiddler, John Phadaí Chonchobhair, also of Mín na Croise and Cathal recalls that both John and Mickey would visit their father two or three nights per week. Some of his family, including Cathal attended the national school at Loch Dhoire Thoirc for a period where they learned Irish dancing. Every evening after returning home, Paddy would take down the fiddle and make them dance their steps while he played. Cathal remembers ‘The Harvest Home’ as one of Paddy’s favourite tunes.

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