The Band

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 presents it in its raw form – fresh and beautiful…

…Or as one reviewer put it, “Réalta carry on the Bothy Band tradition of taking tunes by the scruff of the neck and firing excitement through them like hot flames!”

Having toured Germany, Switzerland and Greece alongside traditional music legends Altan, and won the prestigious ‘Danny Kyle Award’ at Celtic Connections Festival, these young musicians have firmly established themselves on the international Irish music scene. Their music has taken them throughout Europe and on to New York, India and South Korea. Grab your dancing shoes and find out why as they perform a stirring mix of tunes on uilleann pipes, whistles, flute, guitar, piano, double bass, bouzouki, banjo and bodhrán.

Réalta are now touring to promote the release of their second album Clear Skies (2016)

Band Members

Conor Lamb

Uilleann Pipes – Whistles

Conor Lamb fell in love with the uilleann pipes and Irish traditional music when he first heard Liam O’Flynn perform at the Lorient Interceltic Festival… and he hasn’t stopped playing since!

Now regarded as one of the leading exponents of uilleann piping, Conor is a founding member of several traditional groups including Réalta, Madagán and Music in the Glen. He is a versatile musician who has performed onstage at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London for the critically acclaimed production of Taming of the Shrew and has toured with several acts including Craobh Rua and Angelo Kelly. Closer to home Conor has collaborated with children’s theatre company Cahoots NI tand has helped set up the Belfast Traditional Music Trail. He has recorded at Abbey Road Studios for a Hollywood film soundtrack and can often be found performing for Irish dancers in the show Avalon Celtic Dance.

“Passion, empathy and respect” are the words used by Living Tradition to describe Conor’s latest album with the trio Music in the Glen, and they are apt words to describe Conor’s approach to piping. Always keen to share his music, Conor has given piping and whistle workshops across Europe including the Brittany Winter School, Lorient Interceltique Festival, Babieca Folk Festival and the Belfast Summer School. He has a passion and skill for helping others develop their playing and is available to give uilleann piping and whistle workshops of all abilities.

Aaron O’Hagan

Uilleann Pipes – Whistles – Flute

Aaron O’Hagan is a highly respected musician and instrument maker, specialising in uilleann pipes and the traditional wooden flute. Born in Belfast, his first introduction to traditional Irish music was through his grandfather James, learning his first notes on the tin whistle. With much encouragement and support from family this was the start of a new path for life.
Aaron progressed onto the flute and pipes, learning from local musicians Brendan Mulholland and Patrick O’Hare. In the pursuit of quality instruments and the right sound, Aaron began to utilise his inherent love for the creative process and was motivated to embark on the journey into reed making and later into pipe and flute making. He plays his own instruments and has been teaching uilleann pipes and flute in Belfast for several years, teaching at the Glengormly School of Traditional Music and at workshops for Na Piobairi Uilleann and The Belfast Traditional Music Summer School. Aaron has toured extensively and performed on TV and radio over the past ten years with the traditional bands Réalta and Craobh Rua and the Irish dance shows Rhythm of the Dance and Danceperados of Ireland.

Deirdre Galway

Guitar – Vocals – Piano

Deirdre Galway began her musical life studying and competing on piano and clarinet. After achieving distinction at Grade 8, she began experimenting with jazz, rock and Irish traditional music. Accompanying on DADGAD guitar and researching old songs, Irish music is now her passion. Deirdre is also an Irish speaker, with a first-class honours degree in Irish Language and Literature.

Deirdre is a founding member of the Irish traditional bands Réalta, Madagán and Music in the Glen. With these projects she has released three critically acclaimed studio albums, performed live on BBC and RTÉ TV, and at venues and festivals throughout the world including Celtic Connections (Glasgow), Sori (South Korea), Saarang (India) and Tønder Festival (Dermark).

Teaching has always been a passion. As well as leading festival workshops and tutoring in schools, Deirdre is co-founder of the Belfast Traditional Music Trail, which aims to give people an introduction to Irish music and its vibrant place in her home city. She is a regular on the Belfast session scene and also performs with Live Music Now, a charity founded by Yehudi Menuhin to bring music into various community setting. As a sympathetic accompanist, Deirdre is in high demand and has recently performed with singers Gráinne Holland and Amy McAllister, uilleann piper Chris McMullan, and the dance show Avalon Celtic Dances.

Dermot Mulholland

Bouzouki – Double Bass – Vocals – Banjo

Multi-instrumentalist Dermot Mulholland adds his talents to Réalta on banjo, bouzouki, double bass and vocals. He is a winner of several All-Ireland titles and is a founding member of the BBC Folk Award winning band Ioscaid. Beyond Réalta, Dermot is highly sought after for various performing, teaching and recording roles and has worked with artists and engineers including: Dónal O’Connor, Sean Óg Graham, The Shamrock Tenors, Chris McMullan, The Mulholland Family and Celtic Legends to name but a few. On stage, he has performed at some of the most prestigious festivals in the folk and traditional scene and some highlights include: Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Cambridge Folk Festival and Tønder Festival.

When he is not in front of the microphone, Dermot will often be found at the other side of the mixing desk in his role as head audio and lighting engineer for the live music venue, An Coire. Here, he also manages the events and has provided FOH and Monitor sound for a multitude of acts, including: Flook, Beoga (Trad); Monsters of Metal (Heavy Metal); and Gareth Dunlop (Singer Songwriter).

Dermot has been repairing and maintaining instruments since he was a young lad and has honed the skills required to maintain and build instruments to a high standard. He has taught music since he was 15 in a range of settings, including at home privately, local music schools, festivals and at the Armagh Piper’s Club, one of the most respected music schools in Ireland. His experience in teaching and playing is shown through his unique style and understanding of his instruments and is available to teach guitar, bouzouki, banjo, double bass, singing and Irish language.

Dermot Moynagh

Bodhrán – Percussion

Dermot Moynagh is one of the most influential and leading bodhrán players of his generation. His talents were highlighted when he won the prestigious All Ireland Fleadh-Cheoil championship at a young age and since then he has been in high demand as a live performer and session recording artist.

He has toured throughout Europe with a variety of bands including Réalta, The Rapparees, The Gráinne Holland Band and the contemporary rock and folk band The Emerald Armada. In the studio Dermot has featured as a guest artist on several albums including Music in the Glen (Lamb, Mulholland, Galway) and Autumn Winds (Niall Hanna).

Dermot is known for his unique style, and recounts learning bodhrán along to recordings of music as varied as Lúnasa, Bob Marley and The Prodigy. This contemporary approach to traditional music is helping him inspire younger generations. He regularly teaches bodhrán at the Andersonstown School of Traditional Music and he has travelled to Spain and France to teach at various workshops including the Babieca Folk Festival and the Cassel Festival de Musique Irlandaise.

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