Background: Ellen Galvin of Moyasta
Ellen (Nell) Galvin as she was locally known was born Ellen McCarthy and lived at Ballydineen, Knockalough, Co. Clare. She was born in 1887. She learned to play the concertina and fiddle at a very young age and her Teacher was Garret Barry the famous blind Piper from Inagh Co. Clare. He was a regular visitor to the McCarthy home. Nell was one of his pupils and she played both the Concertina and Fiddle at a very young age.
At the age of 14 the Blind Piper insisted that she would be entered for her first "Feis" Competition in Ennis and she won the competition playing the fiddle. At the age of 18 she was again entered for the Munster Championships in Ennis on both the Fiddle and Concertina (as she was undecided as to which instrument she would devote her time to.) Here she brought off a remarkable double, winning on both instruments. Her title was later confirmed in Kilkee where the adjudicator was Mr. Seamus Clandillon, later to be nominated as the first Director of Radio Éireann.
The late Dr. Vincent O'Brien later gave her an audition in Dublin for Radio. This was in 1937 and she successfully broadcast on a number of occasions at that time when Radio Éireann was simply known as 2RN.
During those years Nell had married Patrick Galvin of Moyasta and was the mother of five children - three boys and two girls. Stephen R.I.P her youngest son played both timber flute and piano and played with his mother Nell with the Kilfenora Céilí Band as guests and a reel played by them that had no name was named "Mrs Galvin's Reel" by the Band and that name still holds today.
She played with some of the greats in Traditional Irish Music such as Willie Clancy, John Kelly, Dr. Bill Loughnane, Mrs. Crotty, Sean Reid, Garret Barry,
She held the distinction of being the first Clare Woman to broadcast Traditional Irish Music from 2RN in 1937.
She died on 5th September 1961 aged 74 years.