Harmonicas Ireland sell a select range of brand new diatonic, chromatic and tremolo Hohner harmonicas. Harmonicas Ireland also make and sell custom chromatic, tremolo and diatonic harmonicas that improve response, particularly for blow and draw bends and advanced over-blow/draw playing methods or reconfigure the tuning for example ‘Diminished Tuning,’ ‘Paddy Richter,’ ‘Country Tuning’ or whatever the customer desires. Owner Cathal Johnson’s experience of over 20 years of playing, repairing, innovating and improving harmonicas has drawn attention from players and manufacturers alike, achieving a certificate as Hohner Service Technician from Hohner Harmonicas manufacturers, Trossingen Germany.
Cathal Johnson (originally from Dundalk) studied as a harmonica technician with harmonica guru Brendan Power.
In 2010, he attained a degree in Applied Music specialising in “Harmonica Solo Performance” at Dundalk Institute of Technology. That same year he established Harmonicas Ireland.
Always a keen harmonica player (as well as a lover for guitar), Cathal took time to study under the tutelage of Rick Epping of “Pumpkin Head” and inventor of the XB40 Hohner Harmonica. Cathal then attended workshops with harmonica virtuoso Mick Kinsella at the Miltown Malbay Summer Festival. He has also attended workshops at the Murphy Brothers’ Festival in Waterford.
Over the years, Cathal has successfully managed music events for numerous festivals, parties, pubs and clubs in Galway, Donegal and Louth, as well as street performances for the Louth County Council. Cathal has played festivals such as Electric Picnic, Vantastival and BARE. In 2019 he was recognised and certified by Hohner Harmonica manufacturers in Germany as “Hohner Service Technician“.
Cathal’s exactitude of reed work and reed-plate slot work and accuracy of tuning have singled him out in the world of harmonica today as the go to person for custom work and repairs. As such Cathal is known worldwide among the harmonica community for his work and as a fine Irish Traditional Dance Musician, not to mention other genres of music such as blues, folk, pop and country music.
As a musician Cathal plays harmonicas chromatic, diatonic and tremolo, he plays guitar with harmonica rack and melodeon and accordions.
It’s great, after all this time, to find a harmonica technician here in Ireland! I’m delighted to give my full endorsement.. Andy Irvine
I taught Cathal the rudiments of harmonica repair a few years ago (circa 2010), and it’s good to see he’s developed his skills and created a successful small business. I now pass on some of my customers’ chromatic harmonica repair jobs to him… Brendan Power
At last, Cathal provides a much needed harmonica service here in Ireland. This guy knows his stuff when it comes to harmonica and he can play too! Don Baker