Barney Molloy (c.1895 – 1967)

(c.1895 – 2nd April 1967)

Barney Molloy

Barney, or Barney Bhríanaí of Mín na Chearrbhaigh was the son of Bríanaí Mór Molloy, a noted fiddler who learned much of his music from the older players of Gleann Cholmcille including John Mhósaí McGinley. Barney, himself a good fiddler, played regularly with musicians from the locality such as Mick Carr, Frank McGinley and Jimmy Neddie Boyle among others. After marrying Hannah Gillespie of Coillte Feannaid, Barney came into contact with many players from that area such as Hannah’s brother, Andy, her uncle Brian Andy and the Dennis’ of An Port. Regular visitors to the Molloy house included Patrick Doherty and Paddy O’Gara and indeed, Barney himself often played in the O’Gara household at Mín na bhFachrán where they would swap tunes and play until morning. Padriag, Barney’s son has inherited the tradition and has in turn influenced the playing of Derek McGinley, also of Mín na Chearrbhaigh. A highland associated with Barney has been passed on by Con McGinley and is popularly played as part of the tradition in south-west Donegal today.