Vintage mandolin once played by Rory Gallagher gifted to Ballyshannon & District Museum

New string to its bow for museum

Vintage mandolin once played by Rory Gallagher gifted to Ballyshannon & District Museum

A restored 1920’s mandolin which Ror Gallagher played some tunes on is being gifted to Ballyshannon & District museum and the timing of the handover tomorrow, Friday, is perfect as thousands gather in Ballyshannon for the annual Rory Gallagher International Festival.

At 11.30am tomorrow the museum will hold a reception to celebrate the gifting of a a vintage George La Foley mandolin which was rescued from a rubbish bin outside Crymbles Music Store in Belfast in the early 70's by Joseph Cohen.

Although the mandolin was in a very poor condition Mr Cohen, an employee of Crymbles, and a work colleague lovingly restored the 1920's instrument. The original strings have never been replaced.

In the mid 1970’s, following one of his legendary concerts in Belfast, Rory Gallagher heard about the discovery of the mandolin and suggested the instrument be brought to Boosey & Hawkes Ltd., of London to verify its history. Rory then preceded to play several tunes on the restored historic instrument.

George Le Foy was a famous British luithier manufacturer active in London in the early Twentieth Century but ceased trading in the early 1930's and his instruments are rare and much sought after.

Joseph Cohen, from Belfast, a former president of the Northern Ireland Guitar Association has graciously decided to gift this beautiful instrument to the Ballyshannon & District Museum for permanent display.

Cohen has close links with the late Rory Gallagher, his live interview with him in 1975 something of a coup and he is a great friend and supporter of the Rory Gallagher Festival and all things Rory

In conjunction with the Rory Gallagher Festival an official handover and presentation is taking place in the museum at 11.30am tomorrow, Friday, May 31 and all are welcome to attend.

*The museum is located on the top floor of Slevin's Department Store in the heart of the town.

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