Family of Rory Gallagher donate replica guitar to help East Cork lifeboat

Gallagher always found inspiration for his material in Ballycotton, reveals brother

Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher performing at the Rainbow Theatre in London in 1972. File Photograph: Debi Doss/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher performing at the Rainbow Theatre in London in 1972. File Photograph: Debi Doss/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


The family of Irish rock and blues legend, Rory Gallagher have donated a replica of the guitarist’s famous Fender Stratocaster along with an original amp used by the acclaimed musician for auction to raise funds for a lifeboat service.

Rory’s brother, Donal explained that Ballycotton in East Cork always held a special place in Rory’s affections and the family were delighted to help the volunteers of Ballycotton RNLI in the service they provide to seafarers.

‘Rory would visit Ballycotton where he was inspired to write material. This part of the country was very special to him and our family is delighted to be able to do this for Ballycotton RNLI,” he said.

Donal Gallagher said that the Gallagher family had great regard for the volunteer crew of Ballycotton RNLI who launch their lifeboat in all weathers and all types of emergencies to save lives and help those in trouble at sea.

“I hope people who have a love of Rory’s music and are interested in the auction will take pleasure in knowing that in purchasing this incredible guitar and Rory’s own amp and flight case, that they are helping a great charity,” he added.

Rory Gallagher was born in Ballyshannon in Co Donegal but grew up in Cork where he began playing with The Fontana Showband, transforming it into The Impact before forming Taste in the late 1960s when he first sampled international success.

But it was as a solo performer that Gallagher achieved his greatest success with his electrifying live performances helping to establish his reputation as one of the world’s greatest guitarists as he went on to sell 30 million records worldwide.

Gallagher, who was once described by Jimi Hendrix as the world’s greatest guitarist and was credited by Eric Clapton with re-igniting his interest in the blues, used to play a Sunburst Fender Stratocaster which lost its lacquer after reacting with a substance in his sweat.

The replica Fender Stratocaster and the original Oberheirne ‘Studio Amp’ which Gallagher bought in the mid 1970s will go auction as part of Whyte’s Pop & Rock Memorabilia auction which takes place at their galleries at Molesworth Street in Dublin on Saturday May 31st

Last month, a limited edition JS Berlin Legend electric guitar specially crafted for Gallagher by British luthier, Patrick Eggle fetched 25,000 stg in the UK when Lisburn entrepreneur and music fan, Peter Drayne successfully bid for the instrument to bring it back to Ireland.

The news that the family of Gallagher, who died in 1995 at the age of 47, have donated the replica guitar and original amp for auction for Ballycotton RNLI was warmly welcomed by Chairperson of Ballycotton RNLI Fundraising Branch, Fiona Flynn.

“We are extremely honoured by the Gallagher family’s kind donation, Rory is one of the most respected and talented musicians ever to come out of Ireland and we are delighted that his family have chosen Ballycotton RNLI to benefit from this special auction,” she said.