One of the best known figures from the showband era – Maurice Henry of The Freshmen – has passed away in Ballymena

Maurice Henry

One of the best known figures from the glory days of the showband scene in Ireland has died – Ballymena man Maurice Henry.

Maurice was highly regarded as a member of The Freshmen who had a huge following across Ireland and beyond, particularly in the 1960s and 70s.

The Freshmen.


One of the band’s greatest occasions was playing support gigs to the Beach Boys at shows in Ireland in 1967.

Formed largely of personnel from Larne and Ballymena, founding Freshmen members included Barney McKeown (vocals), Maurice Henry (sax), Torry McGahey (bass), Damien McIlroy (guitar), Sean Mahon (trombone), Billy Brown (keyboards,sax) and Davy McKnight (drums).

Singer Derek Dean later joined.

The Freshmen


They had a string of hits including top ten singles in the Irish charts.

The following notice was posted on the Funeral Times website: Henry ( 12 Cushendall Road, Ballymena ) 23rd July 2019 ( peacefully at home ) Maurice RIP, beloved husband of Sally, much loved father of Betty, Michael, Colette, David, Liam, Jane and Sarah and dear brother of George and Gladys. His remains will leave his late residence on Friday at 9.40am for 10am Requiem Mass in All Saints Church Ballymena, burial immediately afterwards in St Patrick’s Cemetery Crebilly. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing wife, sons, daughters, brother, sister, sons in law Peter, Chris, Edmund and Stewart, daughters in law Rhonda, Anne Marie and Valerie, grandchildren Christopher, Charlotte, Hannah, Elias, Jude, Rory, Louis, Seth and the late Liam and all the family circle. On his soul sweet Jesus have mercy. Family flowers only please, donations in lieu if desired to “Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast” c/o the family. “House Private Please”. Detail enquiries to WJ O’ Donnell & Sons Funeral Directors Tel: 028 2563 1406.

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