Throughout the centuries Ireland has consistently been renowned for its music, art and storytelling culture. Since the sixties it has also been a big part of modern rock music. Despite its relatively small size Ireland has given the world many of its best bands.

The Dubliners

The Dubliners are without doubt one of the most famous and one of the best bands of all time. They have been performing for over fifty years and played gigs all around the world. The band appeared on the Ed Sullivan show i along with numerous appearances on Top of the Pops. They also collaborated with the Pogues and were even at one time banned by the RTE. The Dubliners played a part like no other band in popularising Irish music around the world.


Clannad are Donegal’s most famous Irish band. They are also one of the most popular Irish bands despite actually finding success more abroad than at home. Not only were they instrumental in showcasing traditional Irish music but also the language. Their trademark haunting melodies became famous via exposure to their soundtracks to Harry’s Game and Robin The Hooded Man; not to mention their huge global hit Orinoco Flow. Their success meant they achieved eight UK top ten albums.

The Corrs

Combining traditional Irish musical themes with pop-rock has been attempted with mixed success by many bands. The Corrs were no doubt one of the most successful however. This group of siblings used their style and sense of catchy melodies to strike it big.

Forming in 1990, the Corrs released seven studio albums which sold forty million copies worldwide alongside numerous singles.

Two such singles, Talk On Corners and Forgiven Not Forgotten, were simultaneously number one and two in the UK charts. This has only been achieved by a small number of groups and is a testament to their popularity.

The Boomtown Rats

Irish dance orchestra from in Dublin, The Boomtown Rats are one of the few bands, Irish or not, who can claim to have played in front of an audience of 1.9 billion people. This happened in 1985 when they played and organised Live Aid, a massive charity event for the famine in Ethiopia.

They released many albums released over the years including The Boomtown Rats, A Tonic for the Troops, Mondo Bongo, V Deep and The Fine Art of Surfacing.

The Pogues

Released in 1987, The Pogues´ single Fairytale of New York has become synonymous with the Christmas season.
It is strange to think that it actually never fot the number one spot despite its huge popularity and sales of over 1.2 million in the UK alone.
The Pogues’ lead singer Shane MacGowan is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most talented songwriters. McGowan and the Pogues have the quintessential Irish ability for applying deep meaning and philosophical reflections to their music.

The Cranberries

The Cranberries are Limerick’s most famous Irish band and were formed back in 1989 by Niall Quinn who was subsequently replaced by Dolores O`Riordan.
Their music mixes alternative rock with post-punk and a strong Irish folk influence. The band achieved international success with the release of their first album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? which contained the hit single Linger.


There is a love and hate relationship with U2 in Ireland but internationally few bands have achieved so much success and adoration. They formed in 1976 and with Bono’s expressive vocals and guitarist the Edge’s unique sound the band reached international acclaim upon release of their second album War.
They continue to release albums with fourteen studio albums so far and sales of over 170 million records worldwide.

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