Pádraig Ó Baoighill (c1864–1935) of Leitir Catha, Dungloe, Co Donegal
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According to the information recorded on the Doegen speaker questionnaire in September 1931, Pádraig Ó Baoighill was born at Loch an Iubhair, and was aged 67 at the time of recording. His father was a farmer from Loch an Iubhair, and his mother was from Mín na Manrach. In response to questions, he stated that he lived in Loch an Iubhair until the age of 21, although he visited Scotland seasonally from the age of 16. He went to America at age 21, and returned at age 32, settling at Leitir Catha. His occupation was stated as farmer. He attended primary school at Loch an Iubhair. His mother languages were Irish and English; he could read and write English only. The recording team noted "voice rather shrill and hoarse".
Pádraig Ó Baoighill, or Paidí Duncaí, seems likely to have been the son of Denis Boyle (known as Duncaí Eoghain) and Catherine Gallagher, of Árd na gCaorach, Loch an Iubhair. This family is represented in the censuses of 1901 and 1911 by parents Denis (67 in 1901, 80 in 1911) and Kate (65 in 1901) and children Phil (32 in 1901, 41 in 1911), Owen (30 in 1901) and John (25 in 1901).
The Donegal Genealogy Resources
website adds information on members of this family:
Patrick, born 18/11/1864, living Leitir Catha 1901/1911, married to Bridget Duffy.
Anton, born c1864, living Croithlí 1901/1911, married c1893 to Mary born c1865, with son Denis born c1894.
Mary, born 02/01/1868, married to Neddy O’Donnell (James, Brockagh), with two children — in 1901, Neddy was a 34-year-old widower in Áird Mhín.
Phil, born c1870, who seems to have continued in the home place, married c1904 to Bridget Boyle, they had six children, beginning with Denis c1906, Neil c1908, Kate c1910 — and Paidí was indeed known to have a brother Phil, who was also a noted singer (Mise an fear ceoil p 395), and who was killed by lightning during a thunderstorm on 04/06/1918.
Owen, born c1871, at home in 1901.
John, born 15/01/1875, married to Ellen McCarron (John, Oughtmeen) in Bayonne, they had three children.
On his return from America, Paidí married Brighid Thomáis Fheidhlimidh Ní Dhubhthaigh from Áird Mhín around 1899. Brighid was the daughter of Tomás Fheidhlimidh Ó Dubhthaigh (bás 1929) and Máire Fheargail Ní Ghallchobhair; she came from a large family, including sisters Lizzie, who married schoolteacher and translater Niall 'ac Suibhne; and Peggy, unmarried, who supplied material to Séamus Ennis in the 1940s and who died in 1963.
The family of Paidí Duncaí and Brighid Thomáis Fheidhlimidh included:
Donnchadh/Dinny, 1901–1964, who married, firstly in 1928 May Cannon, –1933 (3 sons, 3 daughters), secondly Molly McCaffrey (3 sons)
Tom, c1906; see Saoghal Corrach p 145
In the census of 1901, the household in Leitir Catha consisted of Patrick Boyle, 34 years and 6 months; his wife Bridget, 24 years and 3 months; and son Denis, 1 month. The parents were both bilingual. In 1911, there was Patrick 48 and Bridget 37, who had been married for 12 years; all 6 children were living: Denis 10, Mary 9, Kate 7, Thos 5, Annie 3, Maggie 1. There were two boarders, Lizzie Duffy 17, teacher; and Edward Curran 34, carpenter. Apart from Annie, who had Irish only, and Maggie who was not yet speaking, all were bilingual.
In 1909, Pádraig visited Coláiste Uladh in Gort a' Choirce: the press reported that "a visitor, Mr P Boyle of Lettercagh, sang very finely in the traditional style." (Irish News 14/09/1909 p 7; Ulster Herald 18/09/1909 p 7; Claidheamh Soluis 18/09/1909 p 11; Sinn Féin Daily 16/9/1909) A writer from Leitir Catha, Maghnus 'ac Comhghaill — who used the pen-name Fionn 'ac Cumhaill — made one of his characters speak in these words, of a night's entertainment held in the local school: "Le h-urraim do'n tsagart stadadh de'n damhsa agus h-iarradh ar Bhaoigheallach Loch an Iubhair amhrán a rádh. Dubhairt sé an t-amhrán agus is leis a thig a dheánamh. Níor chuala mé a'n fhear ariamh, ach fear amháin eile, a rabh guth aige comh binn agus tá ag Pádraig Ó Baoighill." (Na Rosa go Bráthach, 1939, p 116)
Teach Phaidí Duncaí, agus an halla damhsa
Pioctúir as Mise an fear ceoil.
Dinidh Phaidí Duncaí agus Séamus Ennis
Pioctúir le Tomás Ó Baoighill as Mise an fear ceoil.
Pádraig operated a dance hall, which continued after his death, into the 1940s. Pádraig 'ac Gairbheith wrote that there were five halls in the district, but Halla Phaidí Duncaí was "an ceann .. ab iomráití acu mar go mbíodh lucht thrí bparóistí ag tarraingt air" (Pobal na Gaeltachta, 2000, lch 153). Apart from the dance-hall, Teach Phaidí Duncaí was also a popular céilí-house and lodging house. Séamus 'ag Grianna stayed there during his time teaching in Mín na Manrach (1916–1920): "bhíodh scaifte istoigh ag áirneál dtoigh Phadaí Dhonnchaidh, an teach a mbínn ar lóistín seal an gheimhridh ann" (Saoghal Corrach, 1945, pp 140,145,160).
Pádraig's eldest son, Dinny or Donnchadh (1901–1964), was a teacher and headmaster in Gort a' Choirce. He assisted Énrí Ó Muirgheasa in collecting songs and proverbs (Dhá Chéad de Cheoltaí Uladh, 1934, pp 105, 111, 374, 381 — probably also pp 136, 138; Seanfhocla Uladh, 1931, p vii). He also co-operated with Seán Ó hEochaidh (eg. Béaloideas 20, 1950, p 73), and intensively with Seamus Ennis during the latter's visits to Donegal between 1942 and 1946 (Mise an fear ceoil, passim). He is mentioned by Séamus 'ag Grianna (An Clár is an Fhoireann pp 68–70), and by Pádraig Ó Baoighill (Óglach na Rosann pp 80,211,217,228).
Leitir Catha was not one of the five townlands covered by Alf Sommerfelt in 1915–16 — they were Mín Corrbhaic Íochtarach and Uachtarach, Loch Chathair, Loch Caol and Tor — and he did not therefore consult the Ó Baoighill family.
Páidí Duncaí died on 06/07/1935, aged 67 or 71, and is buried in Dungloe. The gravestone reads:
Recent references to Pádraig Ó Baoighill and his family include:
Reilig an Chlocháin Léith.
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