When Bantry musician John Minehane bought his first saxophone from Duffy’s Circus for £25 in 1950, the story of the Regal Showband began. Together with the O’Sullivan brothers, Paddy who played button and piano accordion and Murt who played chromatic accordion, pianist Donal O’Donovan, trumpeter Seán O’Leary and drummer Seán Clifford, the lads began playing for dancers in and around their County Cork hometown and soon made a name for themselves on the dancing circuit

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Related: Arrivals, Victors, Miami

Front: Kevin Lynch, Declan Ryan, Mick Aherne. Back: Benno Haussman, Des McAlea, John Minehane, Gordon Hanly, Paddy O'Sullivan
Town/Village/County: Bantry, Co. Cork

Lead Vocals: Declan Ryan / Jimmy Cotter
Lead Guitar:
Mick Aherne / Brendan O'Leary
2nd Guitar:
Paddy Sullivan
John Minehane / Len McCarthy / Theo Cahill / Kevin Lynch / Des McAlea
Gordon Hanly
Benno Haussmann
(see bottom of page)
Kevin Lynch
Paddy Kennedy


At about 9:30 on Saturday morning a fishery patrol boat capsized off Ballycotton, Co.Cork. Four of the five crew members drowned while the fifth was taken to hospital where he is said to be comfortable. The fifteen-foot inflatable craft was being used to search for illegal fishing nets and the sea was quite choppy at the time. The alarm was raised at 11:00 a.m. when a local fishing vessel found a body in the sea. Lifeboats from Ballycotton and Youghal started a search of the area and the survivor, Michael Fanning of Fermoy, was picked up next. He was able to tell his rescuers that he was one of five who were thrown into the sea when the engine of their dinghy stopped. Three more bodies were found a short time later. Those who died were named as Barry O'Driscoll (Bandon), Barra O Longaigh (Douglas), Benno Haussmann (Bishopstown) and Dominic Meehan (Gurranabraher). The Government has ordered an inquiry into the drownings.

Local lifeboat men expressed surprise that none of the five crew was wearing a life-jacket although all did have the less effective life preservers. They also said that the boat was not suitable for the conditions and that it was too small for a crew of five.   (Cork Examiner, 9 July 1990)

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