The Priests: Northern Irish platinum-selling group mark 50 years with farewell concerts

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Northern Irish platinum-selling group The Priests have announced a series of farewell concerts after 50 years of a remarkable journey together.

Having performed their first musical collaboration in 1974 as schoolboys in St MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower, the trio of Fr Eugene, Fr Martin and Fr David have since achieved millions of record sales, received multiple awards, travelled the globe, and played countless concerts.

The Priests have announced performances at the end of the year that will celebrate their golden jubilee and close the door on what has been an unexpected adventure.

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Fathers Eugene and Martin O’Hagan and David Delargy became known as The Priests when in April 2008 they signed a recording contract in front of Westminster Cathedral.

The Priests have announced their farewell concerts after 50 years of a remarkable musical journey.  Photo: Steve SchofieldThe Priests have announced their farewell concerts after 50 years of a remarkable musical journey.  Photo: Steve Schofield
The Priests have announced their farewell concerts after 50 years of a remarkable musical journey. Photo: Steve Schofield

The event featured in Sir Trevor McDonald’s concluding comments that very evening in the national news and subsequently in the international print media, even making the front cover of Time Magazine.

They continue to serve as full time priests in the Diocese of Down and Connor. A former Parish Priest in Ballyclare, Fr Eugene is Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese. Fr Martin, his brother, is Parish Priest of Newtownards and Comber, while Fr David is Parish Priest of the Loughshore parishes of Greencastle, Whitehouse and St James (incorporating Whiteabbey and Greenisland).

They have been the recipients of numerous awards, including MBEs in the Queen’s New Year honours list 2020 in recognition of their contribution to music and charity in Northern Ireland.

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The alma mater of all three men, Queen's University Belfast, also recognised them as Graduates of the Year in 2009.

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Income from music sales and concerts has funded their charitable trust, The Priests’ Foundation, which has helped build schools in Cambodia, Uganda and Thailand, and has also been used to help look after retired priests, the homeless, and supplying schools with music apparatus.

“When we signed our recording contract in 2008, we had a line put in it that said our music career would never encroach on our diocesan work. As times change, and we get a little older, this is becoming more and more difficult to coordinate. Our 50th anniversary seems the right time to step back from performing live as a group,” said Fr Eugene.

“We have had the time of our lives - it has been a dream come true,” added Fr Martin.

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The trio are grateful to the unfailing support and encouragement they have received from the bishops and priests in Down and Connor Diocese and of the parishioners in those parishes where they have served over the years.

“It has been the most unexpected of journeys, an experience we will never forget, with many highlights too numerous to mention,” Fr David said. “There is no doubt we will never stop singing, and we remain lifelong friends, but The Priests as a musical group, will end their voyage here.”

Tickets are now on sale via venues or

Tour dates include:

Friday, September 27: The Lark, Balbriggan

Friday, November 8: Market Place, Armagh

Saturday, November 16: The Braid, Ballymena

Saturday, December 21: Guildhall, Derry

Sunday, January 5: Ulster Hall, Belfast (with the Ulster Orchestra).