July 26

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1959 Happy birthday to Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, born in Donegal on this day in 1959. She is a professional singer and musician and has had a long and successful career in Irish music.

Ní Mhaonaigh was taught to play the fiddle by her father as a child. When she was 15 she met Frankie Kennedy who was inspired to also learn to play and became an accomplished flautist. The pair formed the traditional Irish band Altan and also went on to get married.

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They performed at numerous venues across Ireland and also on radio and television until Kennedy tragically died of cancer in 1994. Ní Mhaonaigh continued to perform both as a solo artist and also alongside other established Irish music stars including Moya Brennan.

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