Eddie Monaghan (1898 – 1965)

Eddie in his work as a stonemason [source: Máirín Kerrigan]

Eddie Monaghan was one of eleven children born to Brian and Mary Monaghan (née Meehan) of Drumkeelan where he was surrounded by many fine fiddle players, not least Paddy McDyer, Charlie McCahill and Maurice Quigley of Mountcharles. While his brothers Patrick and Johnny favoured the melodeon, Eddie chose the fiddle. Their home house was burned to ground in the Civil War in 1923 and among the household items to perish were two fiddles and three melodeons. Eddie spent a number of years in the USA in the 1920s but returned home in the 1930s where he worked as a stone mason. Based on main street, Mountcharles, his work was highly regarded and his craftsmanship can be seen to this day in graveyards throughout south-west Donegal. Eddie was a fine, strong fiddle player and the influence of John Doherty, a regular visitor to the area can be clearly heard in his playing. He was recorded by Louis Quinn in the late 1950s and Louis’ son, Seán speaks very highly of Eddie and his gentle encouragement as a fiddle teacher. He died of a heart attack in November, 1965 while in care at Peamount Hospital, Co. Dublin.

Eddie playing the reel ‘Rakish Paddy’ [rec. by Louis Quinn, late 1950s]