Denis O’Gara (1868 -1945)
(24th February 1868 – 3rd December 1945)
Denis O’Gara, Mín na bhFachrán, learned much of his fiddle music from Paddy Mhósaí, a brother of John Mhósaí McGinley. Denis’ house, where he reared seven children, was regarded as one of the most musical homes in the parish. Due to its central location, it attracted a varied range of musicians including Jimmy Lyons and Connie Haughey from Teileann. Denis’ nephew, Patrick Doherty stayed in Mín na bhFachrán for periods of time and Patrick’s cousin, Johnny Boyle and John Phadaí Chonchobhair of Mín na Croise were regular visitors to the house. Patrick Doherty, who learned much of his music from Denis, placed him in very high regard as a fiddler. In his younger years, Denis was in demand to play for weddings in An Charraig, where the jigs ‘Haste to the Wedding’ and ‘Tá do mhargadh déanta’ were the tunes of choice. Patrick maintained that Denis was never quite the same player after his wife, Mary, passed away at a relatively young age. He earned his living as a game keeper for the Musgrave family, while also managing a small farm.