My father always said it doesnt take much to be nice. I think he was right – The Irish Times

Posted: October 7, 2019 at 9:43 am


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The biggest challenge I have faced in my life was

Every day has its challenges but preparing for two years of touring with Clannad and maintaining my health at the age of 67 is as big as it gets. We will embark on the In a Lifetime Farewell Tour next March and, although Im very excited about it, I know I will have to look after myself especially well to run the course.

The moment that changed my life was

When I met a photographer called Tim who came to Donegal to do an article on Clannad for New Musical Express in 1987. We have been married for 28 years now and being encouraged by my other half, especially when I started my solo work, was very important and continues to be.

Who I admire the most is...

Those people who dedicate their lives to helping others whether it be abroad in troubled zones or just at home with loved ones. Every time I see these things on TV or around me in everyday life Im humbled by their self-sacrifice. Having been to several African countries, including Congo and Rwanda, with Christian Blind Mission, this certainly includes them. But there are also a lot of unsung heroes in this world who well never know about.

The biggest influence on my career is

My mum and dad! My dad got me up on stage at a young age in the family pub, Leos Tavern, and my mum taught me all those old Gaeilge songs and encouraged our musical abilities and practice. Last year we honoured them by celebrating 50 years of Leos Tavern and next year Clannad will be celebrating our own 50 years on the road.

A practical thing I do to help my personal development is

I start every day with a time of meditation and prayer. Id be very lost without feeling its encouragement and a sense of knowing that Im not alone. It helps me through all things and I feel I can take on anything when God is part of my life.

My worst habit is

I do watch a fair amount of Junk TV and soaps. Its undemanding after hectic travel, touring and performing schedules. That doesnt mean its the only thing I watch!

The thing Im most proud of is

For many years playing with Clannad, I missed a lot of special occasions, birthdays and school events with my kids, Aisling and Paul. To now have them in my own band and, amazingly, as part of Clannad makes me so proud. The fact that despite their own musical influences they love playing with me is wonderful.

My motto for life is

I have taken on what my father said: It doesnt take much to be nice, and I try to remember this on a daily basis. I do try to see the good side of everything which has helped me when things havent quite gone according to plan.

Moya Brennan headlines a Concert in the Dark at Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, Friday October 11th. concertinthedark.ie

In conversation with Una Mullally

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My father always said it doesnt take much to be nice. I think he was right - The Irish Times

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October 7th, 2019 at 9:43 am