East Inishowen – Moville, Greencastle, Muff.
Honoria Galwey (31st May 1830 – 7th Jan 1925) is a significant and often overlooked figure in Irish music. Born in Derry, she lived for many years in Moville, where her father was rector from 1830 to 1952. From an Inishowen perspective, her work is valuable as it gives a clear insight into the social history of the people she collected from, the people she socialised with, and the people who influenced her work in the musical and cultural world.
Honoria was a self-taught pianist and inherited her love of music from her father, who sang to her as a child. She took a great interest in the music and songs and began collecting tunes and songs from people that she met. She had a keen ear and could write down and remember the tunes she heard played at markets and fairs around Inishowen and elsewhere in Donegal and Derry. She once wrote: ‘Fiddles, pipes, concertinas, Jews’ harps (or trumps), lasses lilting, lads whistling, to each and all I am indebted’.
In 1910 Honoria’s collection, ‘Old Croonauns and other tunes’ (OIC) was published in London and New York by Boosey & Co. Honoria states that this collection of music came from the oral tradition of both Inishowen and Derry.
A copy of ‘Old Croonauns and other tunes’ can be accessed through the digital archive at the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Dublin ITMA – Honoria Galwey Digital Book click here
Recollections: Honoria Galwey Concert
‘Old Croonauns and other tunes’, is a Collection of music and songs from Inishowen and surrounding areas notated by Honoria Galwey from the local musicians and singers. It was published in 1910 is available to view on the Irish Traditional Music Archive digital collection
Many musicians are mentioned in Honoria’s collection such as local fiddlers Hudy McCann and Paddy The Slithers, or Paddy McDonald. His father, also called Paddy, played the fiddle too. Paddy McDonald was very influential in terms of the traditional music of the area, playing at fair days, on leisure boat trips on the Foyle and on the quays in Derry.
Other notable musicians included schoolteacher Edward O’Kane, another fiddler, and Daniel Doherty, or, as he was known locally, Wee Dan. Dan was born in 1850 and noted for his playing, travelling throughout the country with his music.
Today Moville has a thriving traditional music scene through the work of organisations, musicians and teachers past and present. These include Kevin MacLaverty, Anthony McHenry, Paddy McLaughlin, The McGroaty and McGinley families and through the Comhaltas branch Comhaltas Cois Feabhail; and Ceolan School of Music and its director Clodagh Warnock.
Young emerging musicians include Kieva McGonagle (harp), Maeve Gillen (pipes & fiddle), Oisin Duffy (fiddle & flute), and Niamh Duffy (Harp).