Sunday, 5 June 2011

Cathal Dunne

Cathal Dunne, born in 1953 in Cork, is an Irish singer. He is most famous for representing Ireland in the 1979 ESC with the song Happy Man. He has since gained a following as Cahal Dunne, performing traditional Irish songs in the United States, where he now lives.

In 1974 Cathal graduated from University College Cork and Montfort College of Performing Arts after studying music. That same year he won the Castlebar Song Contest with the song Shalom. In 1975 he represented Ireland at the World Popular Song Festival with his own composition Lover, Not a Wife which didn't reach the Grand Final. In 1976 he participated in the Irish national final for the ESC with the song Danny which came 4th. During these years he played with his backing band, Stateside (and later, The Formula), on the Irish club circuit.

In 1979 Cathal entered his own composition Happy Man into the Irish pre-selection for the ESC. Competing against former Irish ESC entrants Tina Reynolds and Red Hurley and future winner Johnny Logan, he won the contest easily. Performing in Jerusalem at the final in March, he achieved a respectable fifth place with 80 points. The single went on to sell well in Europe and reached No.3 in the Irish charts. The song was produced by Nicky Graham.

In February 1982 he played some concerts in Michigan in the United States. These tempted him to move there permanently and the following year, Cathal emigrated from Ireland. Since then, he has made a name for himself as a singer of traditional Irish ballads and has released a number of albums.

Cathal now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife, Kathleen and son, Ryan

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