'Galway Joe' Dolan

Artist, Deceased Person

1942 – 2008


Who was 'Galway Joe' Dolan?

Joseph "Galway Joe" Dolan was an Irish musician, song-writer and artist. Known as "Galway Joe" to distinguish him from Joe Dolan of Mullingar, he was born in Galway, County Galway, Ireland.

Dolan was an arts student in Dublin before becoming involved in the Irish showbands of the 1960s, playing guitar with The Capitol Showband and The Swingtime Aces.

He is best known as one of the three founding members, together with Andy Irvine and Johnny Moynihan, of the highly influential folk group Sweeney's Men, which was formed in Galway in May 1966; Dolan also chose the group's name. Sweeney's Men invigorated the Irish folk scene, and had an unexpected Irish top 10 hit with Old Maid in the Garret in 1967.

He quit the band with the intention of travelling to Israel, to take part in the Six-Day War. For many years afterwards he was presumed to have been killed in the fighting, but in fact never reached Israel at all; it was joked that Dolan had arrived on the seventh day. He then went on an archaeological expedition to the Negev desert. He wrote "The Trip to Jerusalem" Tara cat. no. CD2002 about his trip. His song "The Foxy Devil" was also recorded by Moore on the same album. The Dubliners covered "Nelson's Farewell", which was a hit in Ireland, and the trio Ardvarna released a beautiful version of "Mayfly Days".

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Jan 7, 2008

on July 23, 2013


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