Local legends

Bridie Gallagher

Inspiring & informative our local legends are well known older people from, or connected to Northern Ireland. Organised by date of birth.

Age NI Christmas Concert 2010 performers

George Jones
Philomena Begley
Susan McCann
Muriel Day

1920s (80+ years)

Bridie Gallagher
07 September 1924 Creeslough (Co.Donegal)
'The Girl from Donegal', international singer & Belfast resident.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridie_Gallagher

John Wilson Kyle (Jack Kyle)
10 January 1926 Belfast
Former rugby union player for Ireland, the British Lions and the Barbarians during the 1940s and 1950s.
1999 entered International Rugby Hall of Fame
2002 named Greatest Ever Irish Rugby Player by Irish Rugby Football Union
2008 inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kyle

Brian Friel
09 January 1929 Omagh
Irish dramatist & theatre director. Currently lives in the Republic of Ireland.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Friel

1930s (70+ years)

Paddy Doherty
28 March 1934 Ballykinlar (Co.Down)
Former GAA Footballer - Captain of Down GAA Team in 1960’s. Achievements: 3 All Ireland medals and twice made an All-Star, in 1964 and again in 1965. 
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paddy_Doherty_(Gaelic_footballer)

Seamus Heaney
13 April 1939 Bellaghy
Irish poet, writer and lecturer. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. Currently lives in Dublin.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seamus_Heaney

Dame Mary Elizabeth Peters DBE DL
6 July 1939 Merseyside
Former athlete, mainly pentathlon & shot put
Lived in Ballymena since 11 & now Lisburn
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Peters_(athlete)

Harry Gregg MBE
25 October 1932 Tobermore 
Former football player and manager. Manchester United in December 1957. 25 caps for the Northern Ireland national team. At the time of his transfer, he was the most expensive goalkeeper in the world at a fee of £23,000.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Gregg

John McNally
03 November 1932 Belfast
Former boxer - Northern Ireland's first Olympic medallist back in 1952
opens link in new window www.culturenorthernireland.org/article.aspx?art_id=2881
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McNally_(boxer)

Sir James Galway OBE
08 December 1939 Belfast
Virtuoso flutist, nicknamed "The Man With the Golden Flute". One of the first flute players to establish an international career as a soloist.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Galway

1940s (60+ years)

Alfie Linehan
20 April 1940 Dublin
Greatest Moment: "Walking out as Captain of Ireland at Lords" 
Former international cricket player, Captain of Ireland. Irish selector. Irish Team Manager. Executive Committee member. President of Irish Cricket Union.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfie_Linehan

William James McBride MBE (Willie John McBride)
06 June 1940 Toomebridge
Former rugby union player who played as a lock for Ireland and the British and Irish Lions. Played 63 Tests for Ireland, eleven as captain, & toured with the Lions five times - 17 Lions Test caps. Captained the most successful ever Lions side in South Africa 1974.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_John_McBride

Derek Graham
22 September 1941
Distance athlete 5000m Men Overall All Time Northern Ireland 13:41.42 London (WC) 3 Aug 1968
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Graham

Muriel Day
11 January 1942 Newtownards
Represented Ireland at the Eurovision in 1969
Established member of the showband circuit performing with the Dave Glover Band
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muriel_Day

Phil Coulter
19 February 1942 Derry/Londonderry
Songwriter, pianist, music producer, arranger and director. Success has spanned over four decades & is one of the biggest record sellers in Ireland.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Coulter

George Jones
1944 Belfast
TV & radio presenter
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Jones_(radio_presenter)

Pat Jennings OBE (Patrick Anthony)
12 June 1945 Newry
Former footballer - 119 games for Northern Ireland as a goalkeeper, was a world record, still a Northern Ireland record, international career over 22 years. Over 1,000 top level games with Tottenham and Arsenal, and even scored a goal in the 1967 Charity Shield match.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Jennings

Van Morrison OBE (George Ivan Morrison)
31 August 1945 Belfast
Singer & songwriter
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Morrison_OBE

Mike Bull
11 September 1946 Belfast
Pole vaulter and decathlete Medals: 2 gold, 2 silver Commonwealth games 1970 & 1974
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Bull

Dennis Taylor (Denis Taylor)
19 January 1949 Coalisland (Co.Tyrone) 
Former snooker player & current BBC snooker commentator.
Known for his sense of humour & over-sized glasses. Winner of two ranking events. Won 1985 World Snooker Championship, beating the seemingly invincible Steve Davis on the black ball in what is one of the sport's greatest finals.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Taylor

Susan McCann
02 February 1949
Award winning Country music singer
opens link in new window www.susanmccann.com

1950s (50+ years)

Philomena Begley
20 October 1950 Pomeroy
Country music singer
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philomena_Begley

Johnnie Fingers (John Moylett)
10 September 1956
Musician & founding member of The Boomtown Rats.
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Fingers

Bob Geldof (Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof 
05 October 1951 Dún Laoghaire
Musician & campaigner     
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Geldof

Sam Martin (Stephen Alexander Martin)
13 April 1959 Bangor
Former Hockey player 
Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Bronze (2 Total)
opens link in new window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Martin_(field_hockey)

If you have any suggestions of other older local legends, please let us know via our contact form.

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