Naisrín Elsafty

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Naisrín Elsafty (born 1989) is an Irish-Egyptian singer, notable as a distinguished exponent of sean-nós singing, an unaccompanied and heavily ornamented style characteristic of the Irish-speaking area where she grew up.

Cultural background[edit]

Naisrín is one of the younger daughters of Treasa Ní Cheannabháin, a native of County Galway and a fine singer in the sean-nós tradition, and Saber Elsafty, an Egyptian doctor. She was raised with her sisters and her twin brother in the Conamara Gaeltacht in the West of Ireland.

Naisrín grew up in a multicultural and multi-religious household, celebrating both Christmas and the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr (the end of Ramadan). Her parents had met while working in Denmark and eventually married in the Conamara parish of Cill Chiaráin.[1]

The children attended local schools and grew up bilingual in Irish and English.

Naisrín and her family retain links with the Middle East, and in 2008 she and her mother were detained for a time in Gaza after slipping across the border from Egypt while carrying money collected in Ireland for Palestinian families.[2]


Naisrín comes from a family of musicians, and has performed widely in Irish at festivals and gatherings. A number of her performances have been recorded on video and can be accessed via YouTube.

She has not yet released a CD of her own, but does appear on a CD of new and traditional material released by her sister Róisín.[3]


  1. ^ ’From Galway to Gaza,’ Patrice Harrington, The Daily Mail, 16 May 2009: Accessed 6 July 2011
  2. ^ "Irishwoman to face military court". BBC News. 9 February 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Róisín Elsafty - Má Bhíonn Tú Liom Bí Liom CD Accessed 7 July 2011