Bridie’s final journey home

Singing star Bridie Gallagher, known the world over as ‘The Girl from Donegal’, made her final journey back home when she was laid to rest in Creeslough yesterday afternoon.

Singing star Bridie Gallagher, known the world over as ‘The Girl from Donegal’, made her final journey back home when she was laid to rest in Creeslough yesterday afternoon.

Following her funeral Mass in St Bridget’s Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast, her home for many years, yesterday morning, her remains were brought to Doe Cemetery not far from her birth place in Ards, Creeslough, where she was laid to rest.

A 500-strong crowd of family, friends and fans of her music lined the route from her native village as her funeral cortège made its way to her final resting place.

Bridie’s family and friends were led in mourning by her son Jim Livingstone, sister Maggie Curran and sister-in-law Bridget Gallagher. Prayers were offered at her graveside by local Parish Priest, Fr. Joseph Briody. A decade of the Rosary was offered by Fr. Sylvester from Ards Friary.

He commented that Bridie’s famous voice would now be joined in heaven with a choir of angels.

As she was laid to rest, a lone tin whistler played a beautiful rendition of the song “The Town I Loved So Well”.

Before her burial, as the funeral procession made its way through Creeslough on her final journey, a large crowd gathered to say farewell to the singer who became an international star bringing the name of Donegal and Creeslough around the world.

At the area known as “The Corner of the Garden”, the scene of great celebrations for a special Bridie Gallgher tribute event a number of years ago, mourners, including her family and friends such as Daniel O’Donnell, walked behind her remains as a mark of respect.

While there, her son Jim Livingstone thanked all who had turned out to greet his mother’s remains and this was met with a warm round of applause by the crowd.

Despite the damp windy weather, the gathering then followed behind the procession to the graveyard.

Bridie Gallagher passed away on Monday in Belfast after a short illness. She was 87-years-old. In her glittering career she played in some of the most famous venues around the world including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Albert Hall in London.

Bridie 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”. She also made songs such as “The Homes of Donegal” famous, but started out singing locally in a band led by the late Bill Gallagher.

She previously had her own radio show on RTE and in recent weeks featured in a UTV documentary called “There is no one quite like Grandma”.

She was also honoured with a Civic Reception held by Donegal County Council.

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