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The Chieftains, 1962-2021

  • IE ITMA C00077
  • Corporate body
  • 1962-2021

The Chieftains were formed in 1962 when Garech Browne, owner of Claddagh Records, invited uilleann piper Paddy Moloney to form a group to record a once off album. The original members of the group were Paddy Moloney (uilleann pipes and tin whistle), Martin Fay (fiddle), Seán Potts (tin whistle), Michael Tubridy (flute) and David Fallon (bodhrán). The Chieftains the group’s first album was published by Claddagh Records in 1963. Seán Keane (fiddle) joined the band shortly after the release of their first album and in 1966 Peadar Mercier replaced David Fallon on bodhrán. The group went on to release two albums The Chieftains 2 (1969) and The Chieftains 3 (1971) with this line-up of musicians. Derek Bell met The Chieftains in 1972 and began his performance and recording career with the group in that year. The group continued to tour and record and three more albums followed The Chieftains 4 (1973), the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s film Barry Lyndon (1975) and The Chieftains 5 (1975). In 1975 the group turned professional after a very successful concert in the Royal Albert Hall in London. In the early years of their professional career, from 1975 to 1977, The Chieftains were managed by impresario Jo Lustig who organised a number of international tours to the United Kingdom, North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Peadar Mercier retired from the group in 1976 and was replaced by Kevin Conneff who sang and played the bodhrán. The Chieftains’ sixth album, Bonaparte’s retreat (1976) was released in the same year and was the first to feature Conneff’s bodhrán playing. It was also the first time singing featured on a Chieftains album with a guest appearance by a then seventeen year old Dolores Keane. Two more albums followed in 1977 and 1978, The Chieftains 7 (1977) and The Chieftains 8 (1978). In 1979 both Michael Tubridy and Seán Potts decided to leave the band due to the strains of international travel. Tubridy went back to his job as an engineer and Potts to his job in the post office. Tubridy was replaced by flute player Matt Molloy in 1979 and this addition to the band was to be the final change in line-up until the death of Derek Bell in 2002. The first Chieftains album to feature this new line up was Boil the breakfast early: Chieftains 9 which was released in 1979.

The Chieftains continued to record extensively throughout the 1980s, 1990s and into the new millennium with nine albums released in the 1980s, fourteen in the 1990s and between the years 2000 and 2012 another seven albums were released.

The Chieftains have performed all over the world and for many famous individuals including American presidents, royalty and Pope John Paul II. They have also collaborated with numerous musical personalities including Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, The Rolling Stones, Luciano Pavarotti and many more. In 1983 The Chieftains famously toured China and were one of the first Western groups to perform on the Great Wall. This tour also saw them collaborate with Chinese musicians and resulted in their 1984 recording The Chieftains in China.

The Chieftains have received major recording and entertainment awards over the years. Their first award was a Canadian Genie in 1983 for film music for The grey fox . They were nominated for thirteen Grammy awards in total and won six during their most prolific recording period - two in 1993 for An Irish evening and Another country , one in 1994 for The Celtic harp , one in 1996 for Have I told you lately , one in 1997 for Santiago and one in 1998 for Long journey home .

Temple Records

  • IE ITMA C00014
  • Corporate body
  • 1978-
Founded in 1978 in Temple, Midlothian, Scotland by Robin Morton.


  • IE ITMA C00024
  • Corporate body

Mozart Allan

  • IE ITMA C00023
  • Corporate body
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