Paddy O’Gara (1921 – 1994)
(1921 – 13th October 1994)
‘I remember one night at a dance in Glen in a hall they call the Spink hall, do you know I played with about twenty nine fiddle players, in the Glen hall, on the Glen stage.’ – Paddy O’Gara
Like his younger brother Eddie, Paddy O’Gara was engrossed in fiddle music from a young age. The repertoire of John Mhósaí and Paddy Mhósaí McGinley was passed to him by his father, Denis. Through his first cousin, Patrick Doherty and Patrick’s cousin, Johnny Boyle, Paddy played many tunes associated with Alec and Mickey McConnell. He also spent many nights playing in both Teileann and Mín na Croise, where he came into contact with many fiddlers including Jimmy Lyons, Frank Cassidy, John Phadaí Chonchobhair and Paddy Hiudaí O’Byrne. With a great memory for tunes, Paddy amassed a varied and rich repertoire from many different sources throughout the parish of Gleann Cholmcille. When he emigrated to the UK in the early 1950’s, he pulled the door behind him for the last time and closed the chapter on four generations of O’Garas who greatly enriched the music tradition of south-west Donegal. He was generous with his music and transmitted much of his repertoire to the younger generation of players on his many visits home to Donegal. Paddy passed away in October 1994 and is buried in the graveyard in An Charraig .
‘The Salamanca Reel’ performed by Paddy O’Gara