Bill Gallagher

Musician, ‘Garten Clay’ man, American in Donegal

Bill Gallagher was born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.  When he was six years of age his mother brought him, his brother James and sister Grace back to her home in  Creeslough. 

Bill Gallagher on the left Jimmy mc Fadden on the right

They were reared by their Gillespie grandparents and stayed there for many years. 

Bill had a wind charger which he used to light the house in Terlin.

He also had a motor bike – not many bikes around at that time. Bill worked in the Creeslough Co-Op for a few years. 

Music band

Bill started a local Dance Ceili Band called the Cleveland Quintet – (Should have being called The Gallagher’s Band! ) The band consisted of Bill Gallagher, Johnny Gallagher, Francis Gallagher, Pat Boyle and John Mc Carry.   Their lead singer was a young girl from Ards, Creeslough called Bridie Gallagher. Bridie later went on to become world famous and became known as “The Girl from Donegal.”

Back to the USA

Bill returned to the States at 21 years of age and was drafted into the   U. S. Army. He served two years in Germany and two years in Fort Knox.

    He married and settled in Boston where we ran a Pub for 25 years. 

Returing to Creeslough

In 1979 he returned to Creeslough where he bought Hannah O’Donnell’s  Old Hotel. 

He opened a little souvenir shop  making all the items himself.  Having many visitors and people interested in their Genealogy – Family Tree, he started in this field and was a great source of knowledge for the Parish. 

He corresponded with people all over the world trying to trace their Creeslough Roots.

Story telling

He was a famous story teller  and contributes to Highland Radio.  He has also contributed to RTE’s  programme “Mooney Goes Wild”  He was also invited to visit schools and give talks to the children on Irish and American Coins. 

He would tell the children:


Money can buy you anything except two things happiness and heaven

When the Mc Sweeney Clan were having their first Re-Union – Bill did all the research and he was an Honored Guest at all their Functions. 

He was a close friend of Millionaire Kent Sweeney, Nova Scotia who attends all the functions.

He was famous for his pocket Gartan Clay & Tory Clay.  He made key rings and little prayer cards  containing the famous Gartan Clay.  He used to gets requests for these from all over the country.

Bill moved on to join his parents 19/12/2003

Published by mairead collett

Living the rural Life in Donegal, raising children and writing about my local area.

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