Traditional Irish Music, Bangor in Co. Mayo

Traditional music has always been held in high esteem in the area. Music permeated the lives of country people even when poverty was rampant in the area. It seemed to be an important outlet for pent up emotions during the aggressive days of landlordism.

Satirical ballads were composed in the Irish language and some were of such high quality that they survived even to the present day, and are now included in anthologies of poetry. Instrumental music was played in many homes.

There were local musicians for the 'school dances' which were held in peoples' homes during the winter. The ability to play the violin, melodeon, tin whistle and bodhrán seemed to be handed down from generation to generation in some families.

In this parish the late John Harrington, Tallaghanbawn, Phil Henry, Dooyork, and John Callaghan from Doohoma were all noted musicians. Mairtin Harrington, son of the late John is an excellent violinist and resides at his fathers' home.

The late Tom Gallagher and his brother Michael from Tawnagh were also renowned as great traditional entertainers. Buiochas le Dia we have many more fine musicians still with us - Joe Carey in Geesala, Harry Barrett in Doohoma, Eddie Carey from Glencullen, the Deane family in Aughascavill and the O'Mongain family, Doohoma.

By Tony Conway

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