Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill
Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill
Maighread in Cork, 2005
|Birth name||Maighréad Ní Dhomhnaill|
|Born||1955 (age 64–65)|
Kells, Meath, Ireland
|Associated acts||Skara Brae, T with the Maggies|
Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill (Irish pronunciation: [ˈmaiɾʲəd̪ˠ nʲiː ˈɣoːn̪ˠəlʲ]; born 1955) is an Irish traditional singer from Kells, County Meath. Known for her work with the short-lived, but very highly regarded Skara Brae and her collaborations with sister Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, as well as other traditional musicians. Most recently she has recorded and performed with the West Ocean String Quartet (WOSQ).
Maighread was brought up in Kells, County Meath. (In the 1930s some Irish-speaking families were relocated to Meath as part of a government scheme to create a new Gaeltacht area near Dublin). Her father's family were native Irish-speakers from Rann na Feirste, County Donegal and Maighread was therefore brought up speaking the language, along with her sister Tríona and brothers Éamonn, Mícheál and Conall.
Maighread comes from one of Ireland's best-known musical families. Her father was a well-known song collector and songwriter and her aunt, Néillí Ní Dhomhnaill, was a collector of traditional songs.
Maighread first came to prominence as a member of the group Skara Brae. The other members of the group were Mícheál Ó Domhnaill (her brother), Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill (her sister) and Derry's Dáithí Sproule. The only recording that the group made still remains a classic.
" They were the first traditional songs done to guitars – it was the first time the pop music thing was brought to the Irish language. It would be lovely if people knew where it all started. I pressurised Gael Linn to reissue the album. I was on a mission."
The songs on her solo albums are mostly sung in Irish. Mícheál and Triona accompanied her on the albums No Dowry, and on 'Idir an da Sholas'.
Her 1976 debut album was issued under the name Mairéad Ní Dhomhnaill, but since then she has reverted to the original spelling of her first name to "Maighread". She has also previously used the spelling "Maighréad", but has since removed the accented e.
Maighread studied nursing and raised a family, giving up music for a while
Maighréad was looking after her two children in Dublin, and working part-time on nights as a theatre nurse in Mount Carmel hospital in Dublin: "I loved theatre," she says, with passion.
- Maighréad Ní Dhomnaill (1976)
- Gan Dhá Phingin Spré (No Dowry) (1991)
- Idir an Dá Sholas with Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill and Dónal Lunny (1999)
- Ceol Cheann Dubhrann (Various artists, 2009)
- Ae Fond Kiss with the West Ocean String Quartet
- T with the Maggies (2010)
- TBC (2011)