Biography:Rev. Luke Donnellan

Find traditional instrumental music

Rev. Luke Donnellan

 Given name:     Luke
 Middle name:     
 Family name:     Donnellan
 Place of birth:     Lower Creggan, Crossmaglen, County Armagh, Ireland
 Place of death:     Newry, County Down, Ireland
 Year of birth:     1878
 Year of death:     1952
 Profile:     Collector, Composer, Musician
 Source of information:     

Biographical notes

REV. LUKE DONNELLAN (1878-1952). Luke Donnellan was a cleric and curate in several parishes in the Dioceses of Armagh. The parish of Loughgall, County Armagh, was his final posting, where he was the administrator. He was a highly regarded cleric by his parishioners, if mild mannered, scholarly and slightly eccentric. He was also a fiddler, collector of Irish music and author and co-author of scholarly articles on the subject, including one entitled “Oriel Songs and Dances” printed in the Journal of the County Louth Archeological Society, vol. II (No. 2, 1909) and based on his music manuscript collection. He was known to have collected Irish traditional music and songs, focusing on songs in Gaelic, some 150 of which he preserved in sound recordings on wax cylinders. However, the music manuscript of some 300 tunes (mostly reels) that bears his name was possibly not his own. Donnellan researcher Gerry O'Connor believes Donnellan "...was not the original author of this manuscript and that the collection itself had been the work of an unknown, able, traditional musician, probably a fiddle player, transcribed over the musician's lifetime[1]. However, there are local musicians named in the manuscripts from Donnellan's time in Dromintee (1903-10) and Crossmaglen (1910-37), contributors to the collection, which contains a number of Scottish tunes or their derivatives.

For much more information see the Donnellan site at Oriel Arts [1].

  1. Gerry O'Connor, The Rose in the Gap: Dance Music of the Oriel, 2018, p. 11.