Ellen Galvin of Moyasta
Ellen (Nell) Galvin as she was locally known was born Ellen McCarthy and lived at Ballydineen, Knockalough, Co. Clare. She was born in 1887. She learned to play the concertina and fiddle at a very young age and her Teacher was Garret Barry the famous blind Piper from Inagh Co. Clare. He was a regular visitor to the McCarthy home. Nell was one of his pupils and she played both the Concertina and Fiddle at a very young age.
At the age of 14 the Blind Piper insisted that she would be entered for her first “Feis” Competition in Ennis and she won the competition playing the fiddle. At the age of 18 she was again entered for the Munster Championships in Ennis on both the Fiddle and Concertina (as she was undecided as to which instrument she would devote her time to.) Here she brought off a remarkable double, winning on both instruments. Her title was later confirmed in Kilkee where the adjudicator was Mr. Seamus Clandillon, later to be nominated as the first Director of Radio Éireann.
The late Dr. Vincent O’Brien later gave her an audition in Dublin for Radio. This was in 1937 and she successfully broadcast on a number of occasions at that time when Radio Éireann was simply known as 2RN.
During those years Nell had married Patrick Galvin of Moyasta and was the mother of five children – three boys and two girls. Stephen R.I.P her youngest son played both timber flute and piano and played with his mother Nell with the Kilfenora Céilí Band as guests and a reel played by them that had no name was named “Mrs Galvin’s Reel” by the Band and that name still holds today.
She played with some of the greats in Traditional Irish Music such as Willie Clancy, John Kelly, Dr. Bill Loughnane, Mrs. Crotty, Sean Reid, Garret Barry,
She held the distinction of being the first Clare Woman to broadcast Traditional Irish Music from 2RN in 1937.
She died on 5th September 1961 aged 74 years.
PJ Crotty born in Moyasta 27/2/1946
He learned to play the tin whistle at Moyasta National School from the late principal teacher Patrick Prendergast.
He went on to play the concert flute and excelled musically on this instrument.
He went to England as a young man and there he met and married his wife Angela Crehan who also comes from a musical family.
While in London he played with many well known musicians and enjoyed playing with the well known band Le Cheile.
He sadly passed away on the 7th Janurary 2005 at the age of 59 years RIP.
Peadar Crotty born Moyasta 29/6/1940
Peadar his brother also attended Moyasta National School and learned to play the tin whistle.
He went on to become a very accomplished concert flute player.
He played with the Cooraclare Ceile Band and St Annes and in various sessions in Counties Clare,Kerry and Roscommon.
One of the highlights of his career was playing in Phoenix Park for Jean-Kennedy Smith.
He was also an accomplished singer.
Peadar was one of the founder members and Chairman of The Nell Galvin Festival Committee and attended a meeting on the eve of his passing .
He died on 19th of August 2009 age 69 years RIP.
To have one icon of the traditional genre from the townland of Moyasta known all over Ireland is absolutely great,to have three is just unbelievable.
So we invite you one and all to Moyasta on the weekend of August 23rd 24th and 25th to experience the festivities of this wonderful weekend to celebrate the legacy of these three wonderful musicians. Ellen Nell Galvin, PJ Crotty and Peadar Crotty .
All musicians,singers,dancers,storytellers and you the public are very welcome at Moyasta on this weekend.