Nell Ní Chróinín

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Nell Ní Chróinín
Nell Ní Chróinín 2014.jpg
Ní Chróinín in 2014
Background information
Birth name Nell Ní Chróinín
Born 1990 (age 26–27)
County Cork, Ireland
Origin Cork
Genres Sean-nós
Occupation(s) Singer, teacher.
Instruments Vocals
Years active c. 2005 - present

Nell Ní Chróinín (born 1990) is an Irish sean-nós singer from the Muskerry Gaeltacht in County Cork.


Ní Chróinín is originally from ‘An Choill Mhór’, in the Irish-speaking town of Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh, although her family is originally from nearby Cúil Aodha [1] Her interest in sean-nós singing arose after attending her first Oireachtas na Gaeilge event when she was ten years old. In her own words, “It was a result of the Oireachtas that I was given a chance to meet with some of the greatest singers, dancers, poets, composers and characters who have now passed on”.[2] In the following year, Ní Chróinín started singing lessons, and was particularly influenced by local singers such as Máire Ní Chéilleachair and Eoiní Maidhcí Ó Suilleabháin, from whom she was able to learn her songs.[3] Nell's sister Mary Ann also encouraged her to start singing. As a teenager, she won prestigious sean-nós singing prizes, in particular winning in her age category at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2005 and 2006.

In 2008, Ní Chróinín won a medal at the Oireachtas na Gaeilge competition, second place amongst the female singers under 35 years of age (the ‘Corn Phádraig Mhic an Rí’, or ‘Corn na mBan’), and she returned in 2010 to win first place in the same category. Having now won the young women’s category, she qualified to compete for the primary event of the Oireachtas, the ‘Corn Uí Riada’ in the following year. She took part as one of eighteen contestants in 2011, singing ‘Cath Chéim an Fhia’ and ‘An Cailín Aerach’, although Jimmy Ó Ceannabháin ultimately won the coveted top prize.

In 2014, Nell won Corn Uí Riada and was both the youngest person ever to win it and the first person from Seán Ó Riada's home place of Múscraí to win it. The songs that she won with were 'Cuisle mo Chroí' and 'An Chóisire' and she sang 'Na Táilliúirí' upon winning the competition.


Over the years, Ní Chróinín has made several television appearances as a guest singer, generally on the Irish language television station TG4. She has sung on traditional music shows such as Geanntraí and Anam an Amhrán, and she was also the subject of an episode of Amhráin is Ansa Liom in 2010, a programme where a chosen traditional Irish singer sings and discusses four of their favourite pieces. In Ní Chróinín’s case, she chose ‘An Lacha Bhacach’ (probably the song she is most closely identified with), ‘Cath Chéim an Fhia’, ‘Seán 's a Bhríste Leathair’ and ‘Táimse agus Máire’.

Education and work[edit]

Ní Chróinín studied for her Bachelor of Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, and completed her studies in 2010.[4] At the present time, she is working as a teacher at Gaelscoil Uí Dhrisceoil, in Cork.[3]


  • 2005
    • Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann – Irish language song (Women) (12–15 years) (1st place)
  • 2006
    • Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Irish language song (Women) (15–18 years) (1st place)
  • 2008
    • An tOireachtas - Corn Cuimhneacháin Sheáin Óig Uí Thuama (Sean-Nós competition for people under 35 years old) (2nd place)
  • 2010
    • An tOireachtas - Corn Cuimhneacháin Sheáin Óig Uí Thuama (Sean-Nós competition for people under 35 years old) (1st place)
    • An tOireachtas - Corn Phádraig Mhic an Rí (Sean-Nós Singing – Women) (1st place)
    • An tOireachtas - ‘A special €400 prize for two people who have not won a prize in this competition to this point’ (shared with Eibhlís Ní Shúilleabháin)
  • 2014


  1. ^ "Aisling Gheal | iMúscraí". Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  2. ^ Translated from Irish: “Is de thoradh an Oireachtais gur tugadh an deis domsa casadh le cuid de na hamhránaithe, rinceoirí, filí, cumadóirí agus carachtair mhóra atá imithe uainn anois ar shlí na fírinne”. Quoted in Gaelscéal, "Cuimhní Cinn ón Oireachtas", n.d. web reference link now dead
  3. ^ a b "Fidil with Nell Ní Chróinín - Music Network". Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  4. ^ "Oireachtas na Samhna 2010 - Mary Immaculate College". Retrieved 2012-02-14.