Named after the ballad of the 1916 rebellion, The Merry Ploughboys are a traditional folk group from Dublin, Ireland, who have been “singing it like they mean it” for 29 years with gutsy and engaging vocals backed by arrangements of fiddle, mandolin and guitar and often joined by uilleann pipes, whistle or tenor banjo. The repertoire spans humorous old Dublin music hall and street-songs, classic ballads from 19th and 20th century Irish history, timeless songs of emigration and romance, and peppered with traditional Irish dance tunes and their own original material.
The Ploughboys are fundamentally about the Irish song tradition, and influenced by the collective legacy of the Irish folk music revival scene of the 1960s-1980s. Their sound has the raw authentic energy of the classic balladeer as they work effortlessly through a packed set list that is often funny, compelling, engaging, exhilarating, and always entertaining.
The five original members of the band (Gareth Campbell – mandolin, Donal Cawley – guitar, Dermot Daly – fiddle and brothers Liam Heneghan - guitar, accordion and Eoghan Heneghan - bass guitar) are ably assisted throughout the year by other musicians as they perform a hectic schedule of over 300 shows each year in their home venue – their own pub and restaurant in the Dublin mountains, “The Merry Ploughboy Pub” which has a fully seated concert venue. Every year in excess of 40,000 people attended the shows. It has been awarded the gold medal for excellence by CIE tours, Ireland’s biggest International tour operator, for “Ireland’s best dinner/show” six times in a row.
In addition to performing in their home venue the band are in high demand for large events that take place around the city in prestigious venues such as the Guinness Storehouse, RDS, Trinity College and the Dublin Castle. Their ability to engage with any audience of any nationality makes the band a first choice for event organizers looking for traditional bands.
The band has recorded numerous albums of traditional and original songs which are available online
or can be streamed on spotify