In Conversation with Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill
Iarla Ó Lionáird meets sisters Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, two of Ireland’s most respected traditional singers, and shares a conversation of family, song and language with them; from the stories of their father, the singer and folk song collector Aodh Ó Domhnaill, and his sister, the blind singer Neilí Ni Domhnaill, natives of Rann na Feirste, Donegal, to their own roots in the Meath Gaeltacht.
In this segment from the upcoming documentary feature Iarla talks to the sisters about that journey back to Donegal when they were children, to what they see as their spiritual home, and how their Dad would tip them sixpence for the first sighting of Errigal. In the piece you hear the song Níl sé ina lá that the sisters learnt as girls from their Aunt Neilí and recorded by them on the album Idir an Dá Sholas.
This feature documentary, in the award winning Vocal Chords series, is a unique insight into a family whose work has played a profound part in preserving the traditional culture and soundscape of Ireland and gives an intimate portrait of sisters, and singers, who share a deep and instinctive bond in song and life.
From their first band Skara Brae, with their late brother Micheal, the sisters share their work together and separately, Triona in the ground-breaking Bothy Band and Maighread in her acclaimed solo work. They sing together for Iarla a song once sung by their late Aunty Neili and collected by Maighread’s husband and traditional music devotee, Cathal Goan.
Listen Back to the episode in Full
Vocal Chords is an Athena Media production for RTÉ Lyric fm made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the TV licence fee.
The producer is Helen Shaw, The audio editor is Pearse Ó Caoimh. The digital editor is John Howard.
Photo image by Helen Shaw – all rights in Vocal Chords, recordings and images, rests with Athena Media Ltd. athenamedia.ie