What is Sean-nós?

This is a much disputed topic of discussion, especially amongst aficionados. In its purest sense, “ sean-nós” translates as “ old-style” and is usually attributed to solo a capella singing in the Irish language. Sean-nós songs tend to have been “ handed down” through generations, parent to child. Often, the age and author of the song have been lost. Generally however, these songs tend to be hundreds of years old. Different styles of sean-nós exist across the country of Ireland, reflective of the different dialects of the Irish language. Amongst these various styles, Conamara sean-nós is known for its complexity of ornamentation. Although different regions of Ireland have their own styles and songs, it is not uncommon to find different variations of the same song in different regions. Neither is it uncommon to find different variations of the same song in the same region, village or household!

Beo ón Olympia, Live from the Olympia,

Róisín as MC sings An Sagairtín and then introduces Tommy and Siobhán Peoples for a heartwarming set.

The late great Joe Einniú sings Cúnla along with some gorgeous lilting beforehand!

A fine master, who brought sean-nós to the world stage,

including the east and west coast of America and the Sydney Opera House of Australia!

Find out more on Joe Einniú at

A real treat from TG4, Cór Charna, lead by the one and only Joe John Mac An Iomaire, the choir also includes the wonderful voices of  Pádraic Tom Photch Ó Ceannabháin, Padráig Phat Bhid Ó Flatharta, Johnny Mhairtín Learaí Mac Donnachadha and Páraic Phat Phatch Ó Ceannabháin; and for that extra sweetness, the renowned uileann piper Seán McKiernan overall winner of Gradam Ceoil TG4 , Traditional Musician of the Year 2010.

My hero, Dara Bán, suaimhneas sioraí agat a Dhara! RIP

Amhranaí na bliana 2007 le Gradam Ceoil TG4,

gradam bronnta air ag Máirtín Tom Sheainín Mac Donnachadha

Gradam Ceoil TG4 English info link

Joe Einniú once said “This man is better than myself!”

Find lyrics and some background to Cailleach here!

Séan McKeirnan, from Carna,

playing in memory of Johnny Sheáin Jeaic Mac Donnachadha

who drowned tragically Sep 2009 while bringing a boat (Hooker) from Féile na mBád in Kinvara

I líonta Dé go gcastar sinn!

Taken from the French album called "L'art du Sean-nós", on the Buda Musique label, 1996.

Just a snippet of the late great Caitlín Maude, one of my personal favourite singers,

a singer, a poet, an activist

and singing one of my favourite love songs...

Abair amhrán le Seán Garvey in conversation with Seamús MacMathúna,

featuring Róisín Elsafty and a little later the great singer Rosie Stewart from Co. Fermanagh

and a little later again Róisín in conversation with the wonderful Tomás Mac Eoin poet and songwriter and singer/songwriter Tadhg Mac Dhonnagháin

Gorgeous sean nós song Róisín Dubh sung by myself with accompaniment by Ronan Browne's uilleann pipes in B made by Denis Harrington circa 1840 and Siobhán Armstrong's golden strings of the Early Irish Harp, a replica of the Trinity College Harp, Dublin, circa 1600.

This video was filmed by Fionnula Flanagan during a concert of Róisín Elsafty, Siobhán Armstrong and Ronan Browne at St. Nicholas' medieval church, Galway in May, 2011. The concert was staged by the Galway Early Music Festival.

For info on Elsafty Armstrong Browne Trio click here

For short Biog. click here

For downloadable jpegs click here