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Biography

"youthful, energetic, stellar music, from one of Ireland's finest bands!"
- Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (Altan)

Réalta take a lively, exciting and respectful approach to Irish traditional music.
Reared on a staple diet of The Bothy Band, Planxty and other such classics, this Belfast based band captures the timeless aspects of the tradition and gently infuses them with elements from other musical genre

Performing on dual uilleann pipes, whistles, guitar, bouzouki, double bass and bodhrán this multi-instrumentalist group present an enchanting programme of dance music interspersed with the occasional story, air and song. A youthful curiosity is evident in the musical arrangement and is paired with a strict attention to detail in its execution.

Between them, they have played with a variety of established bands such as Craobh Rua and Ioscaid.
Concerts include The Smithsonian Folklife Festival (Washington), Festival Interceltico Accidente (Asturias), Tok Trad Festival (France), Girvan and Moniaive Folk Festival (Scotland), Le Bono Folk Festival (Brittany).

Now, having toured in Germany and Switzerland alongside Altan and won the prestigious 'Danny Kyle Award' at Celtic Connections, Réalta have firmly established themselves on the Irish music scene. Additional highlights for the band include performances at Alkmaar Irish Music Festival and Noordfolk Festival (Netherlands), Northern Meeting Piping Festival (Scotland), Randers Ugen (Denmark), Festival of the Peninsula (Newtownards), The Open House Festival (Belfast), The William Kennedy Piping Festival (Armagh) and Saarang Festival (India).

As a live band, Réalta delight audiences with the enthusiasm, energy and passion they bring to their music.

Réalta's debut album 'Open The Door For Three' was released in September 2012.

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Live at An Droichead

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Band Member Biographies

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  • Conor Lamb (Uilleann Pipes, Whistles)
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    Conor began learning whistle with the Glenavy based flute player Brendan Mulholland. At the age of thirteen he took up the uilleann pipes after hearing Liam O'Flynn at the Lorient Festival Interceltique. He studied in Belfast with influential pipers such as Tom Clarke and Paddy O'Hare, and in recent years has toured throughout Europe and America as a member of Craobh Rua.
  • Deirdre Galway (Guitar, Bouzouki, Vocals)
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    Deirdre grew up in a classical musical environment, studying and competing on piano and clarinet. After successfully achieving Grade 8 in her classical music exams she decided to branch out and began experimenting with jazz, rock and Irish traditional music. Accompanying on DADGAD guitar and researching old songs, Irish music is now her passion. Deirdre has toured throughout Europe with Killultagh and Cuan and is also studying the Irish language at university level to improve her fluency and song repertoire.
  • Aaron O'Hagan (Uilleann Pipes, Whistles, Bodhrán)
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    Aaron was first introduced to Irish traditional music by his Grandfather. He learned whistle and flute with Brendan Mulholland and attended uilleann pipe classes with Paddy O'Hare. Aaron has toured throughout Europe and America as a member of Craobh Rua and is also a much sought after reed and pipe maker. He has taught reed making workshops on numerous occasions including the Leo Rowsome commemorative event at Na Píobairí Uilleann, Dublin. An example of an O'Hagan pipe chanter can be heard on the Réalta tracks 'The Galtee - The Black Haired Lass - The Stoney Steps' and 'Sliabh Geal gCua'.
  • Dermot Mulholland (Bouzouki / Double Bass / Vocals)
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    Performing on bouzouki, double bass and vocals, Dermot Mulholland has rightfully earned his reputation as one of the finest traditional musicians and singers on the scene today. Winner of several all Ireland titles and founding member of the BBC Folk Award winning band Ioscaid, Dermot now completes the Réalta lineup with his unique performance style (and wit!). When not performing with Réalta Dermot can be found moonlighting across the world with the Irish Dance sensation Celtic Legends or accompanying the rising singing star Niamh McGlinchey.


These musicians possess a unique musical kinship in which they bring traditional tunes and songs to life. Conor and Aaron grew up learning and playing together and their similar piping styles enhance and complement each other. With over a dozen reeds resonating in unison, the rare blend of two uilleann pipes gives Réalta a full and distinctive sound. Deirdre's rich musical heritage gives her a free range of techniques and styles to inspire her arrangement of songs and accompaniment. This core is complemented perfectly by Dermot's virtuosic talents on bouzouki, double bass and vocals.