Jack McElroy (1910 – 1996)

Jack & Mary McElroy

(3rd March 1910 – 5th January 1996)

Christened John Francis but commonly known as Jack, he was born and raised in the townland of Gleann Málainn, the son of John and Mary Ann McElroy. Jack played the fiddle from an early age and along with the rest of his family had a huge interest in music. At a relatively young age he learned to read notation, thereby allowing him to explore other musical genres such as jazz and classical music. Con McGinley of Mín na Croise and Cheshire recalls Jack playing one steps, two steps and foxtrots at dances in An Caiseal National School in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Jack later worked as a clerk of works in the early 1940’s during the construction of the Hydro-electrical Dam in Ballyshannon. He followed the company to Dublin where he worked up until his retirement in the late 1960’s. Jack served as choir master at Lexlip, County Kildare and at Raheny, Dublin, where he held the position for twenty five years. He enjoyed travelling home to Gleann Cholmcille every year with his wife, Mary and son John, where he also assisted the choir in An Caiseal. Jack had a huge record collection and enjoyed his other hobbies of gardening and stamp collecting into his later years.