Old friends in dispute over the De Dannan name

The dispute over the De Dannan name began when the band split up in 2003.

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Alec Finn registered the name as a trademark. He says the intention was to prevent people who had nothing to do with the band from exploiting the name.

The move didn’t go down well with fiddle player Frankie Gavin who felt it put an unjustified restriction on him using the name.

Frankie Gavin uses the name with his new band

Matters came to a head when Gavin was due to play at the World Fleadh in Castlebar in 2009 with his new band under the name, Frankie Gavin and De Dannan.

Finn’s lawyers objected saying the De Dannan name had been registered under Business Names Act 1963.

It asked that the words De Dannan should not be used in any promotional material without consulting Finn.

This is not De Dannan as people know it

Finn said he was trying to protect both the name and the public. He said people might be misled by a concert featuring Gavin using the De Dannan name.

He was quoted in the Irish media saying: “This is not De Dannan. If you want to go and spend your money on something that is not De Dannan, go.

“But don’t be taken in that you are actually going to see a reunion of the old members of De Dannan.”

Gavin felt he had a right to use the name

Gavin, on the other hand, felt he has as much right as Finn or anyone else to use the name.

He said it was difficult to succeed in the music business, even for musicians like him with a track record in a band like De Dannan.

He was quoted in the Irish Times saying: “the fact is, it’s difficult to make a living playing music. If it’s a business and a trade name that I’ve built up over 30 years, I think that I would have every right to use it.”

Gavin registers a new version of De Dannan name

Frankie Gavin responded to Finn’s lawyers by saying that he had registered Frankie Gavin and De Dannan as trade name with the Companies Registration Office.

In future, he would be performing and trading under this new name.

He then ended his email with the words: “Hope this clarifies the matter.”

Peace breaks out among the warring De Dannan tribe

An agreement was eventually reached with Finn working with a new band under the name De Dannan.

Gavin, meanwhile, went ahead with the name Franke Gavin and De Dannan.

This will no doubt come as a relief to the fans of both these talented musicians who have done so much to make Irish music popular all across the world.

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Dispute of De Dannan name
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