#OTD in 1961 – Enya (Eithne Ní Bhraonáin) is born in Gweedore, Co Donegal.

Enya began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad before leaving to perform solo. Enya is a four-time Grammy Award-winning singer, an Academy Award-nominated songwriter, and Ireland’s best-selling solo artist (her record sales stand at 80 million as of 2009). As a musical group, Enya is a collaboration between […]

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#OTD in 1945 – Birth of folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Christy Moore in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Christy Moore is one of the founding members of Planxty and Moving Hearts. In 2007, he was named as Ireland’s greatest living musician in RTÉ’s People of the Year Awards. The former lead-vocalist and chief songwriter of Planxty and Moving Hearts, Moore helped to bring the musical traditions of Ireland up to modern standards and […]

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#OTD in 1852 – Death of popular poet and editor of Irish Melodies, Thomas Moore, who was born in Dublin.

Poet, singer, entertainer and songwriter, Thomas Moore, dies at the age of 72. Best remembered for the lyrics of ‘The Minstrel Boy’ and ‘The Last Rose of Summer’. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron’s memoirs after his death. In his lifetime he was often referred to as ‘Anacreon Moore’. Moore was […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Birth of artist and musician, Phil Coulter, in Co Derry.

Coulter’s father, also called Phil, encouraged music in the house. He played the fiddle whilst his wife played the upright piano. The younger Coulter recalls this piano, made by Challen, as ‘the most important piece of furniture in the house’. ‘I always stayed away from the fiddle, having inflicted enough pain on my family with […]

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#OTD in 1955 – Birth of singer/songwriter, Liam Reilly, in Dundalk, Co Louth.

Liam Reilly is an Irish singer/songwriter and a member of the popular Irish rock band Bagatelle. After receiving an offer from Gus Dudgeon (Elton John’s producer, now deceased) Reilly began a solo career. It didn’t gain much popularity but he wrote some of Bagatelle’s most popular songs during this time such as ‘Somewhere In Europe’. Reilly […]

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Róisín Dubh (Black Rose) by Phil Lynott

The song was inspired by Phil Lynott’s fascination with Irish history and Celtic mythology, and ironically was to become his epitaph. Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas da anam. ‘Róisín Dubh (Black Rose)’ Phil Lynott Tell me the legends of long ago When the kings and queens would dance In the realm of the Black Rose Play […]

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#OTD in 1934 – Singer, guitarist and founder of the Dubliners, Ronnie Drew, is born in Dublin.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. Ronnie Drew was born in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. He was best known for his long beard and his voice, which was once described by Nathan Joseph as “like the sound of coke being crushed under a door”. For more than 30 years, the distinctive voice of the […]

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#OTD in 2013 – Death of uilleann piper, accordion player, singer, composer, researcher, writer and lecturer, Tomás Ó Canainn.

The uileann piper was probably best known as a member of Na Filí, along with fiddler Matt Cranitch and whistle player Tom Barry, who brought Irish traditional music to an international audience in the 1970s. The Derry native was an engineering lecturer and in the early 1970s moved to work at University College Cork, where he […]

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#OTD in 1971 – Birth of musician, singer and songwriter, Dolores O’Riordan, in Co Limerick.

Dolores O’Riordan led The Cranberries to worldwide success and fame for 13 years before the band took a hiatus in 2003. Her first solo album Are You Listening? was released in May 2007. Her second solo album No Baggage was released in August 2009. Her first solo album Are You Listening? was released in May […]

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#OTD in 1935 – Birth of Liam Clancy, of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem fame.

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem shot to fame after appearing with his brothers on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1961. Scheduled to perform two songs, they were forced to extend their appearance when the show’s headliner cancelled. The following year they sold out audiences. After the Clancy brothers stopped touring / broke up, Liam […]

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