Frank McHugh (1924 – 2019)

(5th July 1924 – 4th February 2019)

Frank McHugh

Frank McHugh

In his youth, Frank McHugh learned much of his fiddle playing from Peter Cunningham of An Seanach, a fiddler who Frank rated very highly. Furthermore, Frank’s aunt Ellen was married to the fiddler James Meehan in the neighbouring townland of Leirg an Dachtáin. For a period in his youth, Francie Dearg Ó Beirn spent three days per week working at the Carr farm in Mucros and it is known that Mick Carr played the fiddle, though he emigrated to the USA at an early age. Frank’s father, John played the piccolo, melodeon and concertina, which was a rare instrument in south-west Donegal at that time. After his marriage to Maggie, Frank stayed in the family home overlooking the beach at Mucros where they maintained a small farm. He participated in the early Fiddler’s Weeks in the late 1980’s in Gleann Cholmcille where he performed and was recorded playing at fiddle recitals. In later years he played regularly at sessions in various pubs in Cill Charthaigh and the surrounding area. Frank was also recognised as a fine bagpiper and he played with the local Pipe Band through all of his adult life. The fiddle tradition has been kept alive by Frank’s grand-daughter, Evelyn who learned much of his repertoire.

‘The Perthshire Hunt’, highland performed by Frank McHugh