The group Seachtar, 1974

The group Seachtar, 1974

THE GROUP SEACHTAR, WHICH WITHIN A YEAR OR TWO AND WITH SOME CHANGE OF PERSONNEL WOULD BECOME INTERNATIONALLY FAMOUS AS THE BOTHY BAND.

A 1974 publicity shot by Dublin photographer Robert Dawson taken on Mespil Road, Dublin, in the apartment of their American sponsor Diane Hamilton née Guggenheim: Tony Mac Mahon, Clare, accordion; Paddy Keenan, Dublin, uilleann pipes; Matt Molloy, Roscommon, flute; Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Meath/Donegal, vocals, electric clavichord; Paddy Glackin, Dublin, fiddle; Donal Lunny, Kildare, bouzouki; Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, Meath/Donegal, vocals, guitar.

Mícheál Ó Domhnaill (1951–2006), who died suddenly in July at the age of 54, was like his sisters Tríona and Maighread strongly influenced by the Irish-language singing traditions of Ranafast, Co Donegal, through his father Aodh and aunt Neilí. He was an innovative guitar player, experimenting with new tunings and accompaniment styles. With his sisters and Daithí Sproule he formed the group Skara Brae in the late 1960s, following it with the groups Munroe, the Bothy Band, and, after emigration to the United States in the late 1970s, Relativity, Nightnoise, and a long-standing duet with fiddle player Kevin Burke. Since his return to Ireland in 1997 he played frequently and recorded with Paddy Glackin. As well as being a collector of traditional music for the Dept of Irish Folklore in UCD and the first presenter of RTÉ’s radio series The Long Note, he was an arranger and composer of music, and a record producer.

Photo © Diane Hamilton Collection of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Courtesy of the Archive

Published on 1 September 2006

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