Bridie Gallagher

Bridie Gallagher
Background information
Birth name Bridget Gallagher
Also known as "The Girl from Donegal"
Born (1924-09-07)7 September 1924
Creeslough, County Donegal, Ireland
Died 9 January 2012(2012-01-09) (aged 87)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Genres Irish
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1956–2000
Labels Beltona, Decca, London Records (US), Emerald Records, Parlophone, Capitol (US), Pye Records

Bridget "Bridie" Gallagher (7 September 1924 – 9 January 2012) was an Irish singer, affectionately known as "The Girl from Donegal". She was widely regarded as "Ireland's first international pop star".[1]

Gallagher shot to fame in 1956 with her recording of "A Mother's Love's A Blessing" and achieved international acclaim with her legendary rendition of "The Boys From County Armagh". During her career, which spans over six decades, she appeared in many leading venues across the globe. She also made songs such as "The Homes of Donegal" famous.


Gallagher started her singing in the Creeslough Hall with a local Ceili Band started by Bill Gallagher. The Creeslough Hall was owned by Jim Mc Caffrey and Bridie would make many more visits to the Creeslough Hall in her home town throughout her long and successful career. Bridie's talent was soon spotted in the 1950s by Billy Livingstone (no relation to her husband) who was a talent scout for Decca records, and she went to Belfast which was to become her base, therein she married Robert (Bob) Livingstone and had two boys, Jim and Peter. One son, Peter died in a motor accident in 1976 and the other later went on to tour with Gallagher.

Gallagher holds the record for the largest number of people in attendance in the Albert Hall London, with over 7,500 people,[2] a record that was never equalled as it went on to become an all-seater venue. Gallagher become world-famous and travelled all over the world, United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and was known as "The Girl from Donegal". Bridie played in many of the world's best known theatres, including London's Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall in New York. Bridie sang mainly ballads or as they later became known as Country and Irish. One of her best known songs was "The Boys From The County Armagh", which sold over 250,000 copies, the biggest-selling Irish single at that time.[3]

Bridie also recorded "Cottage by the Lee", written by Irish songwriter, Dick Farrelly. Farrelly achieved worldwide fame with his classic song, "The Isle of Innisfree", which was originally a worldwide hit for Bing Crosby and it was chosen by movie director, John Ford as the main theme music for his film, "The Quiet Man".

Gallagher had her own radio show on RTÉ as well as many appearances on television (RTÉ, BBC, UTV, and coast to coast in the United States).[4]

Personal life

Gallagher lived in Belfast for most of her life. In 1976 she lost her 21-year-old son in a motorbike accident."She never really got over that (accident)," said her son Jim, "but she just kept going.". She was honoured by the people of Creeslough on 10 July 2000 with an event to celebrate her career. Members of her family from Creeslough and Donegal attended the event along with her two sisters and their families who travelled from Glasgow to be there along with an estimated crowd of 2,500 fans. A plaque paying tribute to Gallagher was unveiled. The following day she was honoured by Donegal County Council when they held a Civic Reception for her. "Bridie blazed the trail for many artists who followed after her and I'm sure that many of them looked upon her as a role model as they started their careers in the music world," council chairman Charlie Bennett said at the ceremony.

Gallagher died at her home in Belfast on 9 January 2012 at the age of 87.[5][6] Her burial took place in her native Creeslough.[7]



Extended Plays

Long Plays

Discography Sources =[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]


  1. McFaul, Anna Marie (10 January 2012). "Bridie Gallagher: Ireland's 'first international pop star'". BBC News. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  6. "Sadness as "The Girl From Donegal" Bridie Gallagher dies". Donegal Daily. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  7. "Our Bridie to be laid to rest in her native Donegal". Donegal Daily. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 2012-01-23.

External links

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