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Skara Brae

Skara Brae at a rare concert in Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair), 2005.
Background information
Origin Ranafast, County Donegal, Ireland
Genres Folk
Years active 1970–1971
Labels Gael-Linn
Associated acts The Bothy Band
Former members
Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill
Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill
Mícheál Ó Domhnaill
Dáithí Sproule

Skara Brae were a traditional Irish music group from Kells, County Meath with origins in Ranafast, County Donegal. The group consisted of three siblings, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill and Mícheál Ó Domhnaill with Dáithí Sproule from Derry. Although they were together for only a year, their one and only record Skara Brae is considered to be one of the most important albums in its genre, as they were the first group in history to put harmonies to Gaelic songs.[1]

Though brought up in County Meath, the O Domhnaill siblings had their roots in Ranafast (Rann na Feirste), where their father's family originated. Mícheál, Maighread and Tríona came together with Dáithí during Irish language summer schools held in Rannafast during the late 1960s and subsequently formed the band Skara Brae (while Triona and Maighread were still attending school). The band released one self-titled album in 1971, when Dáithí, Mícheál were attending university in Dublin and later played several gigs in the city over the next year, turning increasingly to a more electric sound until disbanding in 1972.

Dáithi Sproule went on to perform in bands such as Altan[2] . Skara Brae re-grouped in 1998 and 2003 for concerts in Gweedore, County Donegal.

Mícheál Ó Domhnaill and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill later co-founded the highly influential Bothy Band in 1974, with musicians; Matt Molloy, Tommy Peoples, Paddy Keenan and Dónal Lunny.


In 1971, Skara Brae released a self-titled album[3] with the following tracks:

  • Taobh 1
1. An Cailín Rua
2. An Suantraí
3. Bánchnoic Éireann Óighe
4. Angela
5. Táim Breoite go Leor
6. Inis Dhún Rámha
7. An Saighdiúir Tréigthe
  • Taobh 2
1. Cad é Sin don Té Sin
2. An Chrúbach
3. Casadh an tSúgáin
4. Caitlín Óg
5. Airdí a' Chumhaing
6. Tá Mé 'mo Shuí

The album was re-released on Gael-Linn in 1998.

See also

  • Skara Brae, an archeology site featuring the most complete neolithic village in Europe


  1. ^ FolkWorld CD Reviews
  2. ^ Time Has Told Me
  3. ^ Ref.: CEF 031, Gael-Linn Records


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