Darach Ó Catháin (1922 – 1987) aka Dudley Keane / Kane, was one of Ireland's most celebrated sean-nós singers and an iconic figure within the Irish music tradition. 

Darach grew up in a native Irish-speaking community in Connemara.  In 1935 his family moved to the Gaeltacht of Rath Cairn, in Co. Meath as part of a government initiative. He fell in love and married at the age of 19. 

By the 1950's he was renowned as one of Ireland's finest sean-nós singers. Seán Ó Riada thought there was no better sean nós singer than Darach and featured him regularly on the earlier Ceoltóirí Chualann records (which lead to the forming of The Chieftains).

In the 1960s he regularly performed on the radio programme, Reacaireacht an Riadaigh, on RTÉ Radio 1. At that time he was also working as a labourer on the building sites of London and the north of England. In 1962 his first commercial recording was released, and in 1963, he moved his family to Yorkshire. 

Ó Catháin released another recording, Traditional Irish Unaccompanied Singing in 1975 (Gael Linn). He would say: "When you've music in you, you're hearing music always."

The Podcast Dudley Kane – Darach Ó Catháin – is here in Leeds (RTÉ) follows his family's adjustment to life in England at a time when they knew little of the English language. 

See also the television documentary  Cérbh É? Darach Ó Catháin (TG4)


Darach Ó Catháin sings  

Additional Information
Date of Birth 30th Sep 1922
Date of Death 29th Sep 1987
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Monica Faherty
Father (First Name/s and Surname) Colmán Ó Catháin aka Coleman Keane
Townland born An Máimín, Leitir Móir, Connemara, Co. Galway VIEW SOURCE
Number of Siblings 12
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) Brid
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Dudley Kane is here in Leeds (RTÉ Podcast) Ireland VIEW SOURCE


  • Where is An Máimín in Lettermore?  My great grandmother was Maggie Keane from Trabane b. 1844.  Her father was Michael, born about 1820.


    Thursday 1st November 2018 05:02PM
  • Maumeen in the civil parish of Killanin (Galway) 

    Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Friday 2nd November 2018 07:02AM
  • Thank you!


    Friday 2nd November 2018 11:53AM

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