Eastern Inishowen

Anthony McHenry

Born in 1932 Anthony McHenry from Glenagiveny has been the main source of music for the communities around Greencastle, Moville.  Anthony’s parents Mary Doherty, from Carndonagh and Barney McHenry, from Glenagivney both came from singing families, Barney also played concertina, button accordion, flute and whistle and was self-taught.

Anthony was self-taught originally and formed a 3 piece band with his cousin Lawrence McHenry(10yrs his senior) and his brother-in-law James McCann (20yrs his senior). The 3 played C/C# button accordions, however Anthony also plays piano accordion and violin and the viola.

Anthony decided at 26 years of age took lessons on music theory from local music teacher, Mrs Wilson. Obtaining music notation from Philip’s and Davidson’s music shops in Derry Anthony, Lawerence and Barney set about learning many of the popular tunes of the day which at that time was the music of Jimmy Shand. In Inishowen many homescould only receive BBC radio. For many Inishowen musicans such as Anthony they tuned in every Saturday evening at 7pm to pick up music broadcasts.   Eddie Gillen from Mossy Glen was an accomplished 2 row button accordion. Eddie was taught by the Gilmartins from Moville who were music teachers. Jimmy Doherty from Gleneely was another champion button accordion player. Brian McGeady, a nephew is also a noted musician.

In the Moville area Paddy Mc Laughlin, Danny Harkin and have kept the music tradition alive. Kevin Mc lafferty origionally from Mayo moved to Moville in 19-200? and like Paddy Mc Laughlin taught music in the Moville area. Currently Ceolan School of Music under the direction of Clodagh Warnock has seen a renewed interest in traditional music in Moville.

The Gleneely Ceili Band

The Gleneely Ceili Band performed at local dances around the area playing music for céilí and popular songs of the day. Jim and Archie Warnock, James Bradley, Frank Griffin, Mickey Curley, John Mc Gonagle and on occasion Deirdre Mc Grory (nee Doherty) joined them on vocals. During the 1950s the O’Kane family band with members John, Tom, Patrick and Annie Kane, the Tremone dance band, George Mc Laughlin and his band played in O’Kane’s Hall, Lecamey, Bob Carey’s loft Carrowmena and dance halls popular at the time such as Bocan hall, the Wee Hall Culdaff , The Swansea- Drumaweir, Shroove Cafe and Moville. In Moville during summer months there would be a ceili every night of the week dancing til 2am. In the Culdaff area John Joe Mc Grory, piano accordion and his good friend Michael Byrne on fiddle from Malin played at social events around the area. A popular tune they played at the time was the ‘Bocan Waltz’. Other musicians around the Culdaff area were William Knox and George Mills (Carthage) both played fiddle.

In recent years family’s such as the Barron family and the Mc Colgan family from Muff have kept much of the music alive. The Mc Colgan family as the Cottage Ceili band perform at ceili dances throughout the north west.