The Gallowglass Ceili Band
The Gallowglass Ceili Band were born just before meself in around 1949/1950, in Pat McGarr’s home town of ‘Jigginstown’, near Naas, Co. Kildare.
In 1953 they won the All Ireland Ceili Band Competition, & then again in ‘54 & ‘55 - a hatrick!
Just take a look at the instrumentation here & think of what we, now regartd as the ‘traditional’ line up of instruments for a Ceili Band!
Pat McGarr - Piano Accordion
Jimmy McGarr - Vocal & Bass
Peggy McGarr - Violin
Sean Keogh - Clavioline & Piano
Paddy Dunne - Drums
Tommy Lundy - Guitar
John Greville - Vocal
Brendan Breen - Accordion
Incidentally, the front cover of this LP shows John Kelly ‘senior’ standing fiddling on a grassy bank with Dan O’Dowd, I think it is, on Pipes sitting beside him.
On the road in front of them are a group of competition dressed, set dancers.
To the side of the dancers is one of those famous Irish crossroad signs, a real one, with various destinations pointed out & this one shows Rathfarnham 4 miles in one direction & somewhere with the glorious name of ‘Stepaside’ 6 & a half miles in the opposite direction.
Oh, not that it’ll make any difference now, but this LP is on the Hallmark Label - HM 605 & it was recorded in 1968!
Oh yes & the bonus is that this LP is actually signed by the man himself - Pat McGarr!