John Mac a’Luain (b.1910)

John and Máire Mac a’Luain © ITMA

John Mac a’Luain, or John Johnnie Phádraig as he was known locally is remembered fondly as a lively character who would sing or play a tune ‘at the drop of a hat’.  John was born in 1910 into an area steeped in fiddle music both from local players and Travelling musicians. He also lived on the main walking route to the Croaghs, and daily visitors relayed lore and song in their native Gaelic tongue. John played in a group along with Peter Herron and Joe Ward (fiddles) and Con Herron on drums and they performed regularly in Éadan Fhionn Fraoich Hall in the 1940s and 50s. John’s older brother, Charlie, ten years his senior was also a fine fiddle player.  John was married to Máire (née Marley) from Glenfin and they entertained locals and visitors alike including scholars such as Art Hughes, and later Alan Feldmann who, along Eamon Doherty published ‘The Northern Fiddler’ (1979), a book documenting the fiddle tradition of Donegal and Tyrone.