The legendary ballad singer Bridie Gallagher, known universally as ‘The Girl from Donegal’, has passed away. She died peacefully, at the age of 87, on Monday morning in Belfast where she had lived for many years.
Her career spanned more than five decades, filling concert halls the world over. She set the record, which remains unbroken, for the largest ever attendance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Her biggest hits included ‘A Mother’s Loves a Blessing’ and ‘The Boys from the County Armagh’.
A special programme about the singer was broadcast in recent weeks by the BBC. Her son Jim said his mother “was thrilled” to see the programme and the family was “delighted that she got the opportunity to see that before she passed away”.
Singer Margo O’Donnell, a lifelong friend, said yesterday: “Bridie was a ballad singer that we’ll never know the like of again.”
She added: “Bridie fought right to the very end. She had to have two operations and the doctors really didn’t think she was going to go through the operations. I feel an emptiness in me that I would feel for a member of my family. I admired Bridie and I loved her. She’ll live with me in my memory until I meet her again.” A two-day festival was held in Bridie Gallagher’s honour in her hometown, Creeslough, in July 2000. Margo commented: “When I got the news of Bridie’s death, I was so glad that I had organised the event with the people of Creeslough. When Daniel and I unveiled the plaque in her honour, tears of happiness were running down her face. It meant so much to her that at last she was recognised at home.”