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Origin United Kingdom
Genres Pop, folk
Years active 1980s–2003
Labels Homespun

Barnbrack is an Irish male vocal/instrumental folk/pop group, with band members Alex Quinn, Jimmy McPeake and Eoien McMahon. The word 'barnbrack' is a play on the Anglicised Irish word "Barmbrack", a type of bread that contains fruit.[1] Barnbrack separated in 2003, after the premature death of Quinn’s wife, Deirdre, aged 55.[2]

While Barnbrack have had many popular songs, such as "The Fly" and the "Unicorn Song", the band's only noted chart success was with a single called "Belfast", written by Lisburn-born man and band member Alex Quinn. The song described the feelings felt by an expatriate, who is planning to return to Ulster and the city he left behind.[3] The song was released on the Homespun label. It entered the UK Singles Chart on 16 March 1985, and reached #45; it was in the chart for several weeks.[4]

In 2009, the Belfast Telegraph reported that, after six years apart, the former members of the band were planning a reunion.The band is now back together and is currently touring Northern Ireland.[5]


  1. ^ Terence Patrick Dolan (2004), A dictionary of Hiberno-English: the Irish use of English (2 ed.), Gill & Macmillan Ltd, ISBN 978-0-7171-3535-6, retrieved 3 Aug 2009 
  2. ^ [1] Archived May 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Lyrics: Belfast". Retrieved 2013-02-19. 
  4. ^ Rice, Tim; Rice, Jonathan; Gambaccini, Paul (1990), Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums, Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness World Records and Guinness Publishing, ISBN 0-85112-398-8 
  5. ^ McIlwaine, Eddie (2009-07-21). "Barnbrack set for big time again with comeback". Retrieved 2013-02-19. 

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