The Skyrockets began as the Cecil Kettyles Orchestra in Enniskillen in the 1950s. They rehearsed in Nora Kettyles' house. When the orchestra disbanded some of the members emigrated to Britain and the U.S.A. Cecil joined the Dave Dickson Orchestra from Clones. In 1957, he formed The Skyrockets.

Some of their best venues were The Rainbow, Glenfarne; The Fiesta, Letterkenny; The Astoria, Bundoran and The Farmers Ballroom, Virginia. Like many top showbands of that time, their programme consisted mainly of punchy brass arrangements of chart hits of the day, soul, Motown, Beatles, rock ‘n’ roll and big ballads.

Vocalist Pat McGeegan represented Ireland in the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest in the Royal Albert Hall, London singing “Chance Of A Lifetime”, and was placed 4th. Each year the band toured England and Scotland, the annual tour usually lasting eight weeks.


Vocals: Mickey Quinn / Frank O’Neill (Neil Franks) / Penny Starr
Lead Guitar:
Henry McCullough
2nd Guitar:
Brendan (Liffey) O’Brien
Ignatius Irvine / Frankie Fox
Paddy Love / Leo McGandy
Paddy McDermott / Brian McGandy / Ivan McBride
Trombone: Dermot Doherty
Gary McGowan / Peter Watson / Alfie Merrigan
Piano/Organ: Cecil Kettyles

Instrument? Gerry Cornally, Dessie McKeown, Dick Barton


1966: Noreen Bawn / After The Dance - Emerald MD1035 (Penny Trent)
1966: Looking Back / Red Rose - Emerald MD1061 (Pat McGeegan)
1968: Chance Of A Lifetime / Don't Laugh At Me If I Cry - Emerald MD 1096
1968: Mr. Lonely One / The Last word In Lonesome Is Me - Emerald MD 1112
1969: Calling Your Name / Adios Amigo - Emerald MD 1124










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