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Barleycorn Feature (1971-1995)

Photo Gallery - Band Lineups - Discography - Audio samples - Where Are They Now?

The Story

Few bands get the attention and notoriety that came to the Barleycorn with the release of their first single in December, 1971. Released a month before "Bloody Sunday" (January 30, 1972) the song highlighted the growing tensions in the North which would soon change Ireland forever.  

The first mention we can find of Barleycorn was in the January 15, 1972 issue of Spotlight magazine. In reporting the story behind the record, The Men Behind The Wire, the article told a little bit of the band's history. Pat McGuigan was an out of work plumber in Belfast who sang in pubs. In June, 1971, he got together with Liam Tiernan, Brian McCormick and John Delaney (referred to several times in Spotlight as John Knox) to form Barley Corn (written at the time as two words).  Francis McPeake would also play with the band for a short time in place of Liam during Lent, 1972. However, we also found a picture of the band as a three piece which was labeled "the first picture of the Barleycorn," so we're not quite sure whether they started with 3 or 4 members.

They sang rebel songs, along with the odd song written by Pat. In November, 1971 Pat wrote the now infamous song about the internees in the North. The song was recorded by Belfast music mogul, Billy McBurney, but was to be pressed (manufactured) in London. English companies reportedly refused to press the record and it was then sent to Release records in Dublin.  

The song was released on December 14th and quickly went to Number 1 in the Irish Charts, making it one of the fastest selling Irish singles ever. The article goes on to describe that Pat was, himself, interned by the British Army under the Northern Ireland Special Powers Act. The record was released on the new CRC (Civil Resistance Committee) record label. All this success was despite the fact that the record was receiving no airplay at home or abroad. Royalties from the record's sales were donated to the families of the internees.       

With Paddy interned, the group carried on as a three piece and toured constantly in support of their massive hit record.

More to come......

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Barleycorn - 1972 Barleycorn - 1972 Barleycorn - 1972 Barleycorn - 1973 Barleycorn - 1973
Barleycorn - 1974 Barleycorn - 1973 Barleycorn - 1974 Barleycorn - 1974 Barleycorn - 1974

The Barleycorn - 1972

Barleycorn (BK) Barleycorn - 1973 Barleycorn - 1982 Barleycorn - 1989
Barleycorn - 1972 Barleycorn - 1973 Barleycorn (RF) Barleycorn (RF) Barleycorn (RF)
Barleycorn (RF) Barleycorn (RF) Barleycorn (RF) Barleycorn (RF) Barleycorn (RF)
   
Barleycorn (RF) Barleycorn (RF) Barleycorn (RF)

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Years Guitar/Fiddle Bass/Guitar Guitar Banjo
1971 Paddy
McGuigan
Brian
McCormick
Liam
Tiernan
John
Delaney
1972 Paddy interned -
band went on a 3 piece
Brian
McCormick
Francis
McPeake
John
Delaney
1972 Paddy
McGuigan
Brian
McCormick
Liam
Tiernan
John
Delaney
1975 Paul
Anderson
Brian
McCormick
Liam
Tiernan
John
Delaney
1981   Brian
McCormick
Paddy
Sweeney
John
Delaney
1983 Dennis
O'Rourke
Derek
McCormack
Paddy
Sweeney
John
Delaney
1986 Dennis
O'Rourke
Derek
McCormack
  John
Delaney
1990 Maurice
McCarthy
Derek
McCormack
  John
Delaney
1993   Derek
McCormack
Liam
Tiernan
John
Delaney

The New Barleycorn

1995     Alec
DeGabriele
John
Delaney

Discography

Men Behind The Wire / Freedom Walk - #1 Irish Charts
CRC Records - CRC.71 - December, 1971

Audio Clips

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

  Paddy McGuigan: Paddy was the first to leave the band, despite arguably contributing the most to its success with his songwriting. In 1975 he brought out a solo album called, My Country, My Songs and Me. As far as we can tell, he is living north of Dublin, but we don't know if he is still in the music business. 
  Brian McCormick:
Liam Tiernan: Liam left the band in 1981 and as far as we can tell, he emigrated to Boston were he started his own pub, Tiernan's. A check of the Internet in 2010 shows that Tiernan's website no longer exists and Liam's postal address is now in San Francisco, California.
John Delaney: Founder of the band, John stayed with the group through its entire history. Finally in 1995, the group broke up and John emigrated to the States. He had met Alec DeGabriele (formerly of the Fairways) several years earlier and they became friends. When Barleycorn broke up in Ireland, John ended up in Cleveland, Ohio where Alec and his bride Mary O'Toole (Karen King) had emigrated many years earlier. They teamed up to form The New Barleycorn, which is based in Cleveland. 
  Francis McPeake:
  Paul Anderson:
  Paddy Sweeney: Paddy left the band around 1986 and joined the Dublin City Ramblers.
Derek McCormack - RIP: Derek sadly passed away on January 30, 2005. After the break up of BThe Barleycorn, her continued to sing and worked with such luminaries as The Fureys and Daniel O'Donnell. He released a solo album in 2000 and regularly took part in Irish cruises.
  Dennis O'Rourke:
  Maurice McCarthy:

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In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006