John Egan (1903–1989) was a famous Irish flute player from Sooey, County Sligo. he played the flute in the strong rhythmic style of Sligo/Leitrim. He learned to play the flute from a local flutist named James Doyle, who lived in Egan’s parish in Lacka, Drumfin, birthplace of fiddler James Morrison.

Egan’s musical upbringing revolved around lively gatherings in neighbors’ homes, where traditional Irish music and dance were central. He also met and played with two other great flute players, Brian Lugby and John Joe Gardiner, of Corhubber, Ballymote. He traveled before settling in Dublin in 1937 where he collaborated with other notable musicians like Sonny Brogan, Bill Harte, Frank O’Higgins, John Kelly, John Stenson, and Tom Mulligan.

In Dublin he participated in the Pipers’ Club, and co-founded the St. Mary’s Traditional Music Club with John Brennan, Tom Mulligan, and others. This club became a gathering place for traditional music lovers.

He played in the Kincora Band and helped record rare Sligo/Leitrim-style music for an LP that featured the Gardiner Trio and the Belhavel Trio. His legacy is celebrated every October with a festival in his honor in Ballintogher, County Sligo.

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