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.
The Merry Ploughboys are from Dublin, Ireland and have performed together for 28 years. They tell the story of Ireland through their songs and music.
The themes of many of their songs represent Ireland, past and present, with sad songs of emigration, more lively songs of rebellion and historic ballads of famous Irish events and Irish heroes. There are also many humorous songs in their repertoire, often with an unusual “twist” at the end! There is lots of audience participation in the show and when they play in Chicago they say it is like playing to old friends.
The band have strong links with the USA, in particular with friends living there who left Ireland during the recession of the 1980s. In fact one of their most popular songs in Chicago is “Chicago town”, a song dedicated to one John Joe Griffin of Oaklawn, originally from Castlegregory, County Kerry.
The band own their own bar and restaurant in the Dublin mountains, which has a fully seated venue for 200 at their famous dinner and show and which has full houses all though the year. Every year in excess of 40,000 visitors came to their show. It has been awarded the gold medal award by CIE tours, Irelands biggest International tour operator, for “Ireland’s best dinner/show” six times in a row.