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Biography

De Dannan (originally Dé Danann) is an Irish folk music group. It was formed by Frankie Gavin (fiddle), Alec Finn (guitar, bouzouki), Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh (bodhrán) and Charlie Piggott (banjo) as a result of sessions in Hughes's Pub in An Spidéal, County Galway, with Dolores Keane (vocals) subsequently being invited to join the band. The fiddler Mickey Finn (1951–1987) is also acknowledged to have been a founder member.

Piggott named the band Dé Danann after the legendary Irish tribe, Tuatha Dé Danann.

The group released their eponymous debut album Dé Danann in 1975. Keane left to marry John Faulkner in 1977. (They were both multi-instrumentalists, and recorded 3 folk albums together.) To fill the vacancy, Dé Danann brought in Johnny Moynihan for the second album Selected Jigs Reels and Songs, which featured a bodhrán solo by McDonagh (this album has never been released on CD, reportedly because the master tapes were lost). The Mist Covered Mountain featured various older traditional singers, and on Star-Spangled Molly they were joined by Maura O'Connell. For reasons that have never been made clear, they changed the spelling of the group from "Dé Danann" to "De Dannan".

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