|Occupation(s)||Roman Catholic priests|
|Members||Very Reverend Eugene O'Hagan|
Very Reverend Martin O'Hagan
Very Reverend David Delargy
The Priests are a classical musical group, made up of three Roman Catholic priests from the Diocese of Down and Connor. Fr. Eugene and his brother Fr. Martin O'Hagan are originally from the village of Claudy, County Londonderry with the family now residing in Derry whilst Fr. David Delargy is from Ballymena, County Antrim.
The trio have been singing together since they boarded in the 1970s as students at St MacNissi's College, Garron Tower, County Antrim. After signing a deal with SonyBMG in April 2008, the priests, all from the Diocese of Down & Connor, recorded their debut album, "The Priests", in Northern Ireland and Rome, with the unusual honour of having been allowed to record in St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican.
2008: The Priests
The eponymous album was released in Ireland on 14 November 2008 by Epic Records and has since been released worldwide in over thirty countries and preceded by an ITV documentary and PBS special in the United States. In December 2008, they scooped the Guinness World Record for "Fastest-selling UK debut for a classical act". The debut album turned 7 times Platinum in Ireland, and Platinum in UK, Sweden, Norway as well as going Gold in New Zealand, Canada and Spain. The group's concert schedule does not follow the usual band format as clauses in their bespoke contract places the emphasis on them continuing their pastoral work in their respective Parishes and in the Diocese of Down & Connor. In the 21 March issue of The Tablet, it is claimed that the album has sold more than 1 million copies in Ireland alone.
2009–2010 Harmony and Noel
In August 2009, they began recording their second album, entitled "Harmony", under the same production team. It was released in November 2009 and has reaped platinum awards in Ireland and Sweden, where the album reached the No 1 spot in the Swedish charts just before Christmas 2009.
The trio completed a very successful concert tour of UK & Ireland playing to packed houses and ending with a homecoming concert in Belfast's Waterfront Hall. Their concert itinerary also took in two concerts in the Millennium Forum in the City of Derry, the first concert coinciding with the release of the Saville Report on Bloody Sunday. They noted that it was an auspicious day for the City and for the future.
The trio's first Christmas album, Noel, was released 2 November 2010. The album debuted at #3 on the US Top Classical Albums Chart and #18 on the Top Christian Albums Chart. In Canada, the album charted on #100 on the Canadian Albums Chart and #8 on the Canadian Classical Albums Chart.
In November 2010 they released an autobiography Soul Song: Reflections On An Unexpected Journey (Hardback). A paperback edition was released in April 2012.
2011–2018 Then Sings My Soul and Alleluia
In April 2012, The Priests released Then Sings My Soul - The Best Of The Priests featuring one new song: Danny Boy and, they continue to tour successfully in Europe, Canada and the U.S.A.
In early 2015 The Priests re-signed their recording contract with Sony Music. The album entitled "Alleluia" was recorded in 2016 and released November 7, 2018. By the end of November the original supply in the US had sold out.
- Fr Eugene O'Hagan is Vicar General of the Diocese of Down and Connor.
- Fr Martin O'Hagan is Parish Priest of the Parish of Newtownards and Comber with two churches: The Church of St. Patrick (Newtownards) and the Church of Our Lady of the Visitation (Comber). Diocese of Down and Connor.
- Fr David Delargy is Parish Priest of the Lough Shore Parishes of Whitehouse, Greencastle and St James in the Diocese of Down and Connor.
|"—" denotes the album didn't chart.|
|"—" denotes the album didn't chart.|
The Priests are also members of Belfast-based choir Cappella Caeciliana, with whom they have recorded four albums:
- 2001 – Cantate Domino – Music of Celebration from Cappella Caeciliana
- 2005 – Sing for the Morning's Joy
- 2008 – O Quam Gloriosum
- 2014 – Reflecting Light
- "The Priests". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "Real-life priests become pop stars". CNN. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- "The Priests". The Priests. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Lee, William (30 July 2008). "The Singing Priests of Belfast". Time. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Observer Music Monthly, White Collar Rock.
- "Television & Film Post Production in Northern Ireland". Yellowmoon Post Production. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- "The Priests take Guinness World Record". Hotpress.com. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- The Tablet, 21 March 2009
- "The Priests - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- "CANOE – JAM! Music SoundScan Charts". Jam.canoe.ca. 19 May 2011. Archived from the original on 17 April 2005. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- Jaclyn Ward – Fireball Media Ltd. "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
-  Archived 24 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine