Dec. 20, 2021

S3E8: MacDara Ó Conaola – Aran Islander Keeping Irish language & Music Vibrant

S3E8: MacDara Ó Conaola   – Aran Islander Keeping Irish language & Music Vibrant

On this serving of Irish Stew, we travel from Manhattan (pop. 1.6 M) to Inisheer (pop. 250) to explore the sights, sounds, haunting landscape, natural history, and vibrant culture of the Aran Islands with our affable tour guide—Irish language advocate and sean-nós singer, MacDara Ó Conaola.

MacDara guides us over the common ground all three of the Aran Islands share, what makes each one distinct, and makes a compelling case for extending your day trip to Inisheer into an overnight stay.

Along with his love of the Irish language, he shares his hopes and frustrations in keeping it a vital part of Irish life, while giving co-host Martin Nutty a chance to practice his Irish. 

We talk about the history of sean-nós and hear his contemporary take on the ancient form in a song tinged with anticipation, longing, and hope on the horizon.

But it’s not all sean-nós for MacDara whose musical tastes embrace hip hop, rap and the Beatles.

Join us for an engaging conversation with our man of Aran and check the links below to learn more of his music and Irish language efforts.

And though he may not know much about the Irish language or sean-nós, props to co-host John Lee for mastering the Irish goodbye. 

MacDara Links:

Personal website is:

Gaelic Green Tongue

Peign is Peadar Project:



Love Token - MacDara's Album on Amazon:

MacDara Ó ConaolaProfile Photo

MacDara Ó Conaola

Singer and Irish Language Advocate

MacDara Ó Conaola is a native of Inisheer in the Aran Islands off the West coast of Ireland. Like many islanders he wears multiple hats as a singer - Sean Nós and advocate for the Irish/Gaelic Language