Known professionally as the ‘Girl from Donegal’, over a 50-year career she played everywhere from the Royal Albert Hall in London to Carnegie Hall in New York and Sydney Opera House. Born in Creeslough, Co. Donegal, Bridie Gallagher made her home in Belfast almost 60 years ago and it was there she was discovered by a Decca talent scout in 1956. Her first single for them – A Mother’s Love’s a Blessing – was an instant hit and within a few short years she was performing on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. The late 50s and 60s saw tens of thousands of Irish people emigrating. In Britain, America and Australia, Bridie had ready-made audiences who packed out the venues she played. In one particularly memorable show at the Albert Hall mounted police had to be used to hold back fans who blocked the surrounding streets.
Photo: Bridie Gallagher (left) and her sister Grace collect the laundry from Ards Friary c 1940