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Danú – 21st century traditional stars

Danú are one of the leading traditional Irish bands of the 21st century. They have released several albums and won numerous awards.

Q&A with Danú’s Benny McCarthy
Danú videos
Bands main page

They are known for their high energy live performances, which feature a vibrant mixture of new material and all time Irish folk classics.


They have performed all over Europe and North America. Their concerts recreate ancient Ireland and take the audience on a journey through the history of the country.

The members of the band come from all corners of Ireland from Kerry to Dublin and Waterford to Donegal.

They sing in both Irish and English and the band feature traditional instruments such as the bouzouk, flute, fiddle, tin whistle and button accordion.

Formed in 1995

The band first got together in 1995. Four of the members – Daire Bracken, Dónal Clancy, Donnchadh Gough, and Benny McCarthy had met in Waterford.

A number of members later joined the band. See below for a summery of the current members.

In 1995, Bracken, Clancy, Gough and McCarthy performed at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, which is a Celtic festival held in Brittany, France.

Soon afterwards they were playing regularly together and developing their sound. The band released their first album – titled Danú – in 1997.

Award winning music

In 2000, they released their second album, Think Before You Dance. It was named the best overall traditional album of the year by Dublin based magazine, Irish Music.

Throught the 2010s, the band released six more acclaimed albums including The Road less Travelled and Seanchas.

They were twice named ‘Best Traditional Group’ at the BBC Folk Awards – in 2001 and 2004.

The band’s eighth album, Buan, was released in 2015.

Members of Danú

Benny McCarthy, who is also the manager of the band, is an accomplished musician. He won the All Ireland Oireachtas in 1994 on both button accordion and melodeon.

Guitarist Dónal Clancy is the son of traditional music legend, Liam Clancy, Dónal used to tour with his father and also played with other bands, including Solas.

Donnchadh Gough has been a permanent member of the band and plays the bodhran and uillean pipes.

Daire Bracken was a fiddle player for the band. When he left he was replaced by Jesse Smith, who was later replaced by Oisín McAuley.

Other current members include Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh who is the singer. She sings in both Irish and English and also plays the flute and whistle.

Brothers Tom and Éamon Doorley make up the final pieces in the Danú jigsaw. Tom is the flute player and is also a great story-teller. He is often the one who is most likely to speak directly to the audience.

Éamon plays the bouzouki and fiddle for Danú. He also plays Scottish Gaelic music with his wife, Julie Fowlis.


Danú videos
Q&A with Danú’s Benny McCarthy
Bands main page