Rita Connolly

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Rita Connolly
Background information
Origin Dublin
Genres Celtic
Occupation(s) Singer Guitarist
Years active c.1977 – present

Rita Connolly is a Dublin-born singer who has lived and worked in Ireland. She is primarily known for her work with composer Shaun Davey who wrote a song cycle for her called 'Granuaile' based on the 16th-century pirate queen Gráinne O'Malley as well as including her in other of his works such as 'The Relief of Derry Symphony', 'The Pilgrim Suite' and his Special Olympics music which was specially composed in 2003. Rita sang the anthem song 'May We Never Have to Say Goodbye' which topped the charts for four weeks. She has also produced two solo albums one with the eponymous title 'Rita Connolly' and the second 'Valpariso' on the Tara Music label.[1]

In more recent times she has collaborated again with Davey (who is also her husband) and Co. Kerry based musicians Seamus Begley, Éilís Ní Chinneide, Laurence Courtney, Daithí Ó Sé, and Eoin Begley. They produced a unique body of work based on local poet Caoimhin O Cinneide's poetry converted into a group of songs. They now perform as a band called Beal Tuinne. Rita has also been performing with other musicians such as Liam O'Flynn, Arty McGlynn, Neil Martin, Sean Keane, Noel Eccles and Shaun Davey in a new venture called The Funeral Band. She also performs in a quartet with her husband Shaun Davey, guitarist Gerry O'Beirne, and concertina player Eoin Begley.[2]

Rita has sung for and with many of the great names in Irish music including Shaun Davey, Bill Whelan, Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine, Christy Moore, Luka Bloom and Jimmy McCarthy. She has also sung songs for theatre, television and film including The Deer's Cry for 'Who Bombed Birmingham' and Todavia Cantamos for 'The Tailor of Panama'. She has sung in many great venues including the National Concert Hall, Dublin, The Albert Hall, London and Chicago Symphony Centre, Chicago.


Voices From The Merry Cemetery - Shaun Davey(2010)
Beal Tuinne - Live at St. James Church Dingle - Beal Tuinne (2007)
May We Never Have To Say Goodbye - Shaun Davey (2006)
Waking Ned Devine - Shaun Davey (1998)
Sur les Quais de Dublin - Gilles Servat (1996)
Valparaiso - Rita Connolly (1995)
Out To An Other Side - Liam O'Flynn (1992)
Rita Connolly - Rita Connolly (1992)
The Relief of Derry Symphony - Shaun Davey (1990)
Granuaile - Shaun Davey (1986)
Ride On - Mary Coughlan (1984)
The Pilgrim - Shaun Davey (1983)
Arc of a Diver - Philip King (1982)
Scullion - Scullion (1979)
Sean O'Casey Songbook - Paul Brady (1980)
Give a Little Love - Stagalee (1978)
Pride of the Heard - Shaun Davey (1978)
Ten Years On [with The Connolly Sisters] - Universal Folk Club (1977)


2001 The Tailor of Panama
1998 Waking Ned Devine Shaun Davey
1995 The Hanging Gael Shaun Davey
1987 Who Bombed Birmingham Shaun Davey
1984 Eat the Peach Donal Lunny & Paul Brady
1978 Tears Donal Lunny & Jimmy McCarthy
1977 Catchpenny Twist Shaun Davey