By Sean Ryan - 03 August, 2015
On Sunday, 16 August, at 8pm the classical musical trio from Northern Ireland will perform in Galway for the first time.
The platinum selling group which is made up of three Catholic priests – Fr Eugene O’Hagan and his younger brother, Fr Martin, are originally from the village of Claudy in Derry while Fr David Delargy is from Ballymena, Co Antrim.
The trio have been singing together since they boarded in the 1970s as students at St MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower, Co Antrim.
They were nicknamed ‘Holy Holy Holy’ by their peers such was their shared determination to enter the priesthood – and followed their vocational training at the seminary in Belfast.
They also studied at Queen’s University and completed their studies at the Irish College in Rome. And it was there that Fr Eugene enrolled for singing lessons with the Maestro Sergio Ballani – the trio were invited by Pope John Paul II’s then-secretary Mgr John Magee – who later had to resign as Bishop of Cloyne over his mishandling of clerical abuse allegations – to sing for the Pope on numerous occasions.
They returned to Ireland and took up full-time ministries but the music also took them down a very different path.
After signing a deal with Sony BMG in April 2008, their album ‘The Priests’ was recorded in Northern Ireland and Rome, having been granted special permission to record in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
The Priests have now recorded three additional albums and a written a book recounting the story of their musical journey together. To date The Priests have sold three and a half million records worldwide.
Speaking about the forthcoming concert Fr Martin Whelan from Galway Cathedral told CatholicIreland.net, “We are delighted to have The Priests perform a concert in Galway Cathedral for the first time. This is a big year for us as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our Cathedral.”
“Having such wonderful artists sing in the Cathedral makes this Jubilee year extra special.”
He added, “We hope the people of Galway will enjoy this event and be part of our celebrations.”
The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas was first dedicated on 15 August 1965 so there will be a special mass on Saturday 15 August to celebrate that, he said.
For more information on events been held to celebrate Galway Cathedral’s Golden Jubilee see http://jubilee.galwaycathedral.ie/events.