My dad plays the fiddle. He stopped playing for years. He was playing when I was a baby, and then he stopped for about five years, or ten years, he says. Then all of a sudden he started playing again, and we all got interested. We started having people like Ciarán Tourish coming up to the house, and Dinny McLaughlin, who taught Ciarán, and who taught myself as well. And it just grew from that

— Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh

The most fantastic Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh quotes that will inspire your inner self

I just love Cape Breton fiddling! I think it's very close.

They derive their music from Scottish music. Well, in Donegal we're very influenced by Scottish music as well. Independently the two areas became very alike, because they kind of changed the music a bit from Scotland and we did the same.


James Joyce's English was based on the rhythm of the Irish language.

He wrote things that shocked English language speakers but he was thinking in Gaelic. I've sung songs that if they were in English, would have been banned too. The psyche of the Irish language is completely different to the English-speaking world.


Well, John Doherty's playing was very unique.

He bowed a lot and used staccato, while I slur a bit. I bow a lot as well, but I do a bit of playing a few notes with the one bow. As you go south there's more slurring with the bow. As you go north there's more bowing every note. But sometimes you get the combination of the two in Donegal.