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New documentary on renowned fiddler John Doherty

Renowned Southwest Donegal fiddle player John Doherty. Photo: Eamonn O’Doherty will be featured on a new documentary on TG4 this Christmas.

BY SEÁN P. FEENY
TWO talented Gaoth Dobhair men teamed up together to make a film on a renowned Donegal fiddle player and this Christmas you will get to see the final result.

Well-known writer Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde and renowned fiddle player and documentary maker Ciarán Ó Maonaigh have made an hour-long documentary film for TG4 on the great Donegal fiddle player John Doherty.

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John Doherty – Ar Leirg na Gaoithe will go out at the height of the TG4 Christmas schedule – 8:30pm on Sunday, December 30.

John Doherty (1900 – 1980) was one of the greatest traditional musicians to come out of Ireland. He was a tinsmith by trade and a fiddle player by night.

He travelled the whole of Southwest Donegal, from Ballybofey to Fintown, to the Glen of Glenties, Ardara, Glencolmcille, Teelin, Dunkineely, etc. mending pots, pans and pandies by day and entertaining house dances by night.

In his lifetime there was a documentary film made on his life by UTV
called ‘Fiddler on the Road’, an amazing historical document to look
back on now.

Now a generation after his death, fiddle player Ciarán Ó
Maonaigh presents a look back at who John was, what it was that he had
that intrigued so many people, how he spent his life and how his music
has survived today and some of the contexts in which it survives and
thrives.

Ciarán said: “Comedian Tommy Tiernan said to Ryan Tubridy on his radio show recently that John was one of his favourite musicians, and that if he could live a life like anybody’s, he would have loved John’s.”

John Doherty – Ar Leirg na Gaoithe, directed by Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhride, was made in its entirety in Donegal by Éabhlóid and it includes a huge amount of never before seen archive of Donegal in the 40s and 50s in full HD.

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Ciarán Ó Maonaigh in John Doherty – Ar Leirg na Gaoithe.

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