Cathal Dunne

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Cathal Dunne
Birth name Cathal Dunne
Born 1951
Cork city, Ireland
Genres Pop, pop-rock, MOR, Trad. Irish
Years active 1971–present
Labels CBS, Rex, EMI, Blarney

Cathal Dunne (born 1951) is an Irish singer. He is most famous for representing Ireland in the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Happy Man".[1] He has since gained a following as Cahal Dunne, performing traditional Irish songs in the United States, where he now lives.


Born in Cork, Ireland, Dunne is the nephew of former Irish Prime Minister, Jack Lynch. In 1974 he graduated from University College Cork and Montfort College of Performing Arts after studying music. That same year he won the Castlebar Song Contest with the song "Shalom". Two years later he represented Ireland at the Yamaha Music Festival with his own composition "Lover, Not a Wife".[2] Also in 1976 he released a single, "Bad Boy" as well as his first top ten hit in Ireland, "Danny".[3] During these years he played with his backing band, Stateside (and later, The Formula), on the Irish club circuit.[4]


In 1979 he entered his own composition "Happy Man" into the Irish National Song Contest. Competing against former Irish Eurovision entrants Tina Reynolds and Red Hurley and future winner Johnny Logan, he won the contest easily with 36 points and thus gained the right to represent Ireland at that year's Eurovision Song Contest.[5] Performing in Jerusalem at the final in March, he achieved a respectable fifth place with 80 points.[6] The single went on to sell well in Europe and reached No.3 in the Irish charts. The song was produced by Nicky Graham.


In February 1982 he played some concerts in Michigan in the United States. These tempted him to move there permanently and the following year, Dunne emigrated from Ireland. Since then, Dunne has made a name for himself as a singer of traditional Irish ballads and has released a number of albums.[7] He has also performed comedy routines and show tunes.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Dunne now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife, Kathleen and son, Ryan.[9]


  • 1971 "Butterfly" (The Montford Singers with Cathal Dunne) (Pye Records)
  • 1974 "Babaró" (Séan O Sé and Cathal Dunne) (Gael Linn Records)
  • 1974 "Shalom" (Rex Records)
  • 1974 "Hey Noddy Day" (Rex)
  • 1976 "Danny" (EMI Records) (IRL #8)
  • 1976 "Bad Boy" (EMI)
  • 1978 "Suspicious Minds" (Cathal Dunne and Stateside) (Bandbox Records)
  • 1979 "Happy Man" (CBS Records) (IRL #3)
  • 1980 "The Time for Talkin' is Over" (Cathal Dunne and The Formula) (Nocturne Records)
  • 1980 "The Feeling's Gone" (Nocturne)
  • 1981 "Bad Boy" (Cathal Dunne and The Formula) (Nocturne)
  • 1977 Bad Boy (EMI)
  • 1980 That Time in Stockholm (GoodWill Records)
  • 1985 Thinkin' Love Tonite (Blarney Records)
  • 1996 Peace in My Land (Rego Irish)
  • 1997 The Best of Cahal Dunne (EJ Farrell Music)
  • 1997 After All These Years (EJ Farrell)
  • 2001 Songs of Inspiration (Rego Irish)
  • 2001 The Christmas Album (Rego Irish)
  • 2004 What Color is the Wind
  • 2005 Salute to Broadway
  • 2006 The Menopause Song
  • 2007 A Little Bit of Irish
  • 2008 Shamrocks and Heather
  • 2009 Dunne Gone Country
  • 2011 Ireland's Golden Treasures



  1. ^ ESC-history. "Cathal Dunne in Eurovision 1979". Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  2. ^ Official website. "Biography". Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  3. ^ Irish Charts. "Search 'Cathal Dunne'". Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  4. ^ Irish Showbands. "Dunne with backing band". Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  5. ^ GeoCities. "Irish National Song Contest, 1979". Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  6. ^ "1979 Eurovision Song Contest". Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  7. ^ Websterrecords. "Selected discography". Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  8. ^ CD Baby. "Cahal Dunne - comedy CD". Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  9. ^ Irish Showbands. "Cathal Dunne". Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  10. ^ Irish Rock - Cathal Dunne discography
  11. ^ Official website - Releases

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Colm Wilkinson
with "Born to Sing"
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Johnny Logan
with "What's Another Year?"