DERRY can boast famous poets, playwrights and songwriters, from Seamus Heaney to Phil Coulter.
The county has produced music that is recognised globally, from Danny Boy to Congratulations, as well as Eurovision winning songs to chart-topping numbers from the likes of The Undertones.
That estimable record could now be augmented by a young lady from Gulladuff, Niamh McGlinchey, who will join a star-studded line-up at The Irish Post Country Music Awards in Armagh on August 30.
This singer/songwriter has a big voice with a country twang, and a way with ballads — country, Irish and traditional — that tugs at the very heart strings.
While her roots are in the folk and traditional music of her home county, in recent years she has ventured with huge success into country and bluegrass.
Niamh started singing at a very early age, but she left it a few years before taking up her first instrument — at the age of seven she began to learn that most lyrical of instruments, the mandolin.
Music was a central part of the McGlinchey household, and soon Niamh was attending seisiúns with her father.
Over the years she also learnt tin-whistle and guitar, however the young Gulladuff girl’s singing continued apace.
Niamh took part in competitions and fleadhs; winning the All-Ireland Title in 2008 for solo singing in Scór na nÓg with her performance of Raglan Road was a major landmark in her career.
Niamh had by this time begun to explore the whole panoply of traditional and country music.
Her influences include fellow Derry singer Cara Dillon, as well as Mary Black, Kate Rusby, Alison Krauss and the Dixie Chicks.
Niamh’s career received a major boost on RTÉ's All Ireland Talent Show in 2009 when she represented the North — her mentor was Dana — and once again Niamh gave her beautiful rendition of Raglan Road.
The YouTube videos of the performance and audition on the show together have reached over 100,000 hits.
She now pens much of her own material, and it's probably only a matter of time before Derry produces another world-beating anthem, courtesy of Niamh McGlinchey.
The Irish Post Country Music Awards take place on Wednesday, August 30 at The Armagh City Hotel, Co. Armagh. Join music fans from all over Ireland and Britain and book your ticket today.