Carndonagh has a long tradition of brass bands, with the first written account of a band dating back to the 1870s. This gallery begins with an image of the Temperance Band of 1904 and takes us right up to date with Back to Brass, with photos of bands playing in parades, homecomings and festivals for well over a century.
The St. Macartan's Temeperance Brass Band, under the direction of Fr. Mc Glinchey, assemble at the bottom of Chapel Street, with the old chapel clearly visible. Note the ladies in the left foreground gathered on the street to watch the parade.
Included are Philip Crampsie, Philip McLaughlin, Johnny Gallagher, Joe Doherty (Billy), Eugene Doherty (The Masher), Pat Doherty (Tinny), Pat Lanigan, Barney Rudden and Fr. McGlinchey.
Front L-R: Johnny Gallagher, Pat Lanigan (on drums), Pat Doherty (Tinny), Harry Armour (Drum Major); 2nd Row Sitting L-R: Unknown, Eddie Connor (Trenbane), Denis Doherty (Mullier), Unknown, Unknown, Unknown; 3rd Row L-R: Henry Doherty (The Brachan Man), Eddie Doherty (Neil Dinny), Unknown, Joe McLaughlin (Billy), Johnny Shiels, Unknown, John Cassidy Doherty (Neil Dinny), Eddie Doherty (Mullier); Back L-R: Fr. Mullan, Eugene Doherty (Jack), Philip McLaughlin, Paddy Kearney (Curley), Charlie McLaughlin (The Wood), Unknown, Neal Kearney.
Front L-R: John Doherty (Jack), Jim A. McDonough, Dinny Doherty, Joe Fitzgerald, Fr. James Bonner P.P., Jamsie Smith, Leo Gubbin, Dick Fitzgerald, Patsy McElhinney; Centre Row L-R: James Quigley, Johnny Diver, George Doherty (The Plant), Willie Doherty (Saddler), John Houten, Danny Tully, Anthony Doherty (Oregon), Tommy Coyle, Tommy Tully, Paddy Duffy, Willie Crampsie, Mick (M.D.) White; Back L-R: John Doherty (Saddler), Michael Galbraith, Peadar Hirrell, John Mannion, Theo McLaughlin (Philip), Billy McLaughlin, Dan McLaughlin (Shoemaker)
Front (sitting L-R): Eddie Doherty (Dinny), Joe Doherty (Jack), John Doherty (Jack), John Joe Gallagher, Jamsie Smith, Eugene Doherty (Jack), John Merricks (White Top), John Doherty (Painter) Centre (standing L-R): Willie Doherty (S), John Houghton, Benny Doherty (Billy), Patsy McElhinney, Peadar Hirrell, Theo McLaughlin (Philips), Willie Crampsie, Patrick Devir, Leo Gobbin. Back (L-R): Dan McLaughlin (Shoemaker), Dick Fitzgerald, Michael Galbraith, John Doherty (Saddler)
Back L-R: Dan McLaughlin (S), Joe Fitzgerald, John Mannion, Danny Tully, John Doherty (S).
Front L-R: Tom Farren, Dick Fitzgerald, Michael Galbraith, Peadar Hirrell;
This photo from 1944 shows the Carndonagh Brass Band parading through Buncrana, with local nurses in brilliant white uniforms in the mid-background, and what appears to be a marching band in the right-background. Notice the fine dress of the locals who have come out to see the show.
Front (kneeling L-R): Charlie Hegarty, Eugene Doherty (Jack), John Joe Gallagher, Ned O’Donnell, Eddie Doherty (J); 2nd Row (Sitting L-R): Tommy Shiels, Jamesy Smith, John Merricks, Theo McLaughlin (Philips), John Doherty (Jack), Patrick Devir, Barry Kearney; 3rd Row: Michael Galbraith, Tommy Coyle, Neal Martin McLaughlin, John Doherty (Painter); Back (L-R): John Doherty (Saddler), Peader Hirrell, unknown, Dan McLaughlin (Shoemaker), Packie Doherty (Bun-a’-Phobail).
Joe Fitzgerald proudly stands for a photo with his tuba, c. 1950. Is this a helicon tuba?
Front Row (L-R): Raymond Doherty (Dinny), Jimmy Marchbank, Jim McDonagh, Michael Galbraith Jr., Michael Galbraith (Band Director), Enda McLaughlin, John Joe Doherty (Oregon), Liam Monagle, Joseph McLaughlin, John Joe Doherty (Neal). Back (L-R): Ian Kelly, Michael McElhinney, Gerard Davenport, Gerard Doherty (Oregon), Joseph Hegarty, Liam Galbraith, Gabriel Doherty (Mullier), Dessie Doherty (Fintan), Ciaran Sheehan, Neilly McLaughlin (Bill).
The Corpus Christi procession took place in Carndonagh every year to celebrate the Blessed Sacrament, as it did in many towns throughout the country. This photo is from 1967 when Corpus Christi fell on Thursday May 25th. As well as being a solemn spiritual occasion, it also marked the beginning of summer. It's clear the crowd enjoyed a bright, dry day from the shadows behind the band members. Note the festive bunting stretching across from Marners in celebration.
Front Row L-R: Joanne Kearney, Myra Mc Laughlin, Maire A. Mc Laughlin, Michael Galbraith (Bandsmaster), Eamon Mc Gonagle, Patsy McElhinney, John Devenney, Patrick Farren, Joe T. Mooney.
Second Row L-R: Benny Canny, John O'Donnell, Patrick Mc Elhinney, Mr. McGonagle, Ernan Mc Loughlin, Philip McLaughlin, Tony Doherty, Anthony Mc Laughlin.
Back Row: Fergal Doherty (s), Brian Mc Elhinney, Tommy Mc Elhinney, Geo. Mc Cafferty, Paschal Mooney, Paul Mc Conologue.
This photo of the St. Macartan's Brass Band is from 1983 and would appear to have been taken in the car park at Simpson's, Tul na Rí, possibly just before they took part in the St. Patrick's Day or Easter parade.
We are short of names for this photo - can you identify anyone?
The latest incarnation of the Carndonagh Brass Band is Back to Brass, established in 2015-16. The group perform throughout the year at public events around the peninsula, continuing a tradition which goes as far back as the 1870s.
"The earliest date for a band in Carndonagh is 1877 when the Carndonagh Flute Band played at the open air wedding reception of John Loughrey and Miss Rogan (Dublin) to which most of the tenants appear to have been invited at Binion House. Lots of “refreshments” were available. It is possible that smaller bands played in the town before this date but records have been lost...The revival of the Brass Band in Carndonagh is of interest as it clearly has its roots in a 140 year old history post-Great Famine. Bands were part of the social fabric and could turn up at political demonstrations, concerts, Land War rallies or, as in the 1950s, Corpus Christi processions" (Sean Beattie, historyofdonegal.com).
Surprisingly, we don't have a complete list of all the band members for this photo - can you identify or tag anyone?
Another photo of Back to Brass, the Carndonagh Brass Band, pictured outside the Colgan Hall, just like the photo of St. Macartan's brass band in the 1940s. This photo was taken at the launch of the 2017 Colgan Heritage Weekend.