Pat Harvey (born c. 1864)


Pat Harvey, or Pat ‘The Nailor’ as he was locally known is recorded as living at Caonachán in the village of Cill Charthaigh in the 1901 census. He lived along with his father, Connell and both their occupations were recorded as ‘Nailor’, which consisted of manufacturing various types of nail by hand using different moulds. Of the same generation as John Doogan, Leitir, he was held in the highest regard by younger players including Francie Dearg O’Byrne. In the following excerpt from an interview broadcast on the RTE radio programme ‘The Long Note’, Francie describes Pat with particular reference to his talent for playing slow airs:

‘Then some time after when I got on to a few tunes, I went to other people, good traditional players. There was a man down here in Kilcar he was a ‘Nailor’, they used to call him ‘Pat The Nailor’. He could play a fiddle, all traditional. He was good, he was. There were no man in this part of the country that could play an Irish air with that man. The man could quiver starting on an Irish air, an Irish solo and he could quiver the bow from stem to stern. It was the grandest thing you could listen to. They talk now about that staccato or whatever you call it, that hopping business. Ah, it was nothing like thon.’