Operettas (Moville)

HMS Pinafore in Moville 1963
Moville Operettas

In late February 1963 The Derry Journal reviewed a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pinafore” by St. Eugene’s Musical Society in Moville. “Rev. P.O’Connor was fortunate to get the valued musical services of Mr James Mac Cafferty, Derry, in the role of Musical Director and conductor , assisted by Mr Neil Mc Mahon, Derry, as producer … (who) have put together a show of which Moville can undoubtedly be proud.”

The previous year had seen “The Pirates of Penzance” play to full houses when Jack “Rusty” Gallagher had been the producer, with Neil Mc Mahon as his assistant.; however, these were to be the last of a series which had begun in the early fifties when John Mc Cabe had been M.D. and Eithne Mc Dermott had been the producer. These annual operettas enjoyed much success and they were often invited to perform for audiences in Derry.

The Derry connection had remained strong throughout. James brought to the shows not only the orchestra but also many members of the men’s chorus. The ever popular Charlie Meehan took the male lead roles. There was also the not entirely unforeseen strengthening of these ties with several marriages, including that of Neil to Chris Keaveney, whose brothers, Brendan and J.J., played leading roles in the shows. Down through the years other principal parts had been taken by Mary Duffy, Mary Magnier, Kathleen Mc Cauley, Eddie Mount, Leonard Bovaird, Denis Kavanagh, Victor Fiorentini, Donal Doherty and P.J. Doherty.                                                                                                                                                      

James himself had had a long and very happy association with this part of Inishowen. His father had taken the family on annual holidays to Shrove, and James continued that tradition taking his own family to Shrove, and then, throughout much of the fifties, to Canavan’s in Gulladuff House on the Malin Road in Moville.