Onóir are a modern Irish male folk group, who sing harmony-focused songs and musical arrangements. Formed in August of 2020, when four individual, Donegal-based musicians; Tom McHugh, Declan Gaughan, Deane Connaghan, and Diarmaid McGee, joined forces to create a contemporary version of the famous Irish folk ballad; “The Auld Triangle”.  We got to know the band more in our blog interview. Read on to find out more….

Onóir – “Honour”

Can you tell us a bit about how the group was formed ?
Believe it or not our whole journey began out of sheer boredom! It was during the Covid-19pandemic, on the verge of lockdown and we were fed up. No gigs, no music, no fun. So, to pass the time we decided to get together to make a music video and things just sort of took off from there. Well, to say that things took off is a bit of an exaggeration because in spite of the “The Auld Triangle” going viral and creating lots of excitement, we didn’t get around to our next video for another twelve months.  The Parting Glass was our next offering. Filmed at night in an abandoned castle near Pettigo, County Donegal. Again, we were shocked at the fabulous reviews and feedback we received. And by now it was beginning to dawn on us that perhaps we had something worth pursuing as a group. That conviction was solidified with the release of our third video “Wayfaring Stranger.” Filmed at a local forest called Murvagh, this time armed with a smoke machine.

Tell us about your first gig and upcoming gigs?
Making our videos is great fun but in truth nothing compares to standing on a stage in front of a live audience. Our first official gig as Onóir was in a local intimate theatre called The Balor, in Ballybofey.  It was electric. We were hooked. And although we had individually performed for many years, from pubs, to clubs, to weddings. THIS WAS IMMENSE. That initial buzz continues to grow as we connect with a larger and more diverse audience. Having just sold out our first two dates in a 1000+ seated theatre in record time we are looking forward to tours of Ireland, the USA, England and Scotland later this year. 2024 is going to be hectic with the launch of our debut album in March.

What does each member bring to the group?
As individuals we all have our own unique talents and capabilities, but when we sing together it just sounds different. Hopefully, different in a positive, melodic way. Through those early videos we stumbled upon our own sound and with every performance, every show and every rehearsal we are working to perfect that sound. We all take our musical inspiration from different genres and diverse artists and groups;
Tom is in our estimation the best ballad singer in Ireland at this time.
Deane is a master of soul and Motown, delivering emotional depth and impeccable delivery.
Declan is into Rock music and can make his electric guitar do just about anything
Diarmaid draws upon Musical Theatre, Country-Rock and Swing

What can Civic audiences expect from your upcoming gig?
So, when you come to an Onóir concert we put our unique stamp on the timeless Irish ballads and folk songs that we all love. But be prepared for a few pleasant surprises as we delve into americana, heart rending soul and a little bit of country. In addition to top quality vocals there’s going to be some fun and laughter along the way. From tears to laughter, we hope you enjoy the onstage chemistry, excitement, and banter in a show that you will remember for a long, long time.
We are by now getting well into our journey. Our diary is filling to bursting point and we are connecting with music lovers from all over the globe. And on that point, we’d like to sign off by saying an almighty thank you to every person who has supported us along the way. We are blessed with the most amazing fans. We are eternally grateful.

Onóir are currently touring their theatre show across Ireland, the UK, and abroad, and will play The Civic on Thu 22 Feb