On the 18th of March 1954, Harry Mc Gilloway was born into a city steeped in culture. Growing up in Derry City, Northern Ireland—it is also known as the City of Song—was a great education for a youngster like Harry. It is a wonderful city where it seems like everyone either sings, dances, plays instruments, or tells stories.
If Ireland is the land of saints and scholars, then Derry City is the place of imagination and dreams. Though history claims a religiously divided community in this city, this is only partly true. When it comes to performing, arts, music, poetry, song, and dance are the common grounds that bind all of the tribes together.
'Its the music that is there in the Derry air,' a comment that was once spoken by another great son of Derry, the famous composer, Phil Coulter.
In the early years, Harry's first paid work came as a drummer in small pick-up bands and in time this developed into touring as a professional musician. Over the years, his profession took many turns.
Booking agent, events promoter, tour manager, bar owner—to name just a few of Harry’s occupations. He now resides in Moville, Co. Donegal along with his son—the youngest of his four children—who is also a musician; performer and composer with the band Follow My Lead. His son’s style of music is different to that of his fathers, as was Harry’s was different to those who went before.
What’s really important is that the music still plays on.