There are timid bodhran players and there are flamboyant bodhran players – and then there’s Ronan O Snodaigh of Kila who occupies a bodhran head space all of his own. Like a prowling metal guitar warrior, he commands and dominates the stage, physically living every beat and twist of the music.

The Legendary Brush

More than forty years after his band Skid Row became the first Irish rock group to penetrate the British album charts, the legendary Brendan “Brush” Shiels still cuts a hugely energetic figure on stage. Unfortunately long-term commercial success eluded Skid Row. But their guitarist, the late Gary Moore, went on to achieve renown with Thin Lizzy and others. This is …

Donal O’Connor

I first met the O’Connors of Dundalk – specifically Peter, Gerry and Eilish, along with their friend Brendan Malone – in the mid-1970s when they came to Limerick to visit another great Irish musical clan, the Ryans of Murroe. They were friendly warm-hearted people – all of them fiddle players – from what was to some of us a distant …

Shannon On The Boyne

Polish group Shannon are a genuine musical phenomenon, playing Irish and other Celtic musics with huge skill, panache and great authenticity. Based in the northern city of Olsztyn, they have performing in various shapes and line-ups for more than twenty years. On very special occasions, they perform as the Celtic Rivers Orchestra, augmented by a twenty-piece string section. Regrettably the …

Sarah May Rodgers

Sarah May Rogers is one of those superb all-rounders fluent across the full spectrum of musical genres. She is perhaps best known as a traditional Irish player but moves with equal ease through the realms of classical, gypsy jazz and country. I photographed Sarah at the Cadence Music Academy in Balbriggan, County Dublin, which she established in 2017.  

In The Zone

Singer Hughie Friel pauses for a brief moment of reflection at a celebration of the music of The Atrix at the Sugar Club in Dublin. On the cusp of the 1980s, The Atrix was one of the Irish bands deemed most likely to achieve international success. Unfortunately it was not to be. Forty years on, however, they are still fondly …

Eoin and Declan Gillen

Eoin Gillen on banjo and his brother Declan on flute at Sarsfields Bar, Drogheda, during Fleadh Cheoil 2019.


Eoin Murphy and Ruairi Stewart, of the Northern band Cuig on the Fleadh TV stage at the 2019 Fleadh Cheoil in Drogheda. For non-Irish speakers, Cuig means five……which, you’ve guessed correctly, happens to be the number of members in the group. Many people will know them from their song Carry On which they performed on the Aer Lingus video for …

Daragh Lynch, Lankum

Daragh Lynch, of the group Lankum, in full voice on the Fleadh TV stage at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, Drogheda, August 2019.

Eimear Coughlan, Harpist & Violinist

Eimear Coughlan is a renowned harpist and fiddle player from County Clare. She is inheritor to the rich musical heritage of her grandfather, the renowned Clare fiddle player Paddy Canny. She is photographed here performing in St Peter’s Church, Drogheda, during the 2018 Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann.