Project Musicians

Tale of the Gael, August 2013. Three of the group join Robert and Deirdre for this project

Tale of the Gael, August 2013. Three of the group join Robert  Tobin and Deirdre Starr for this project. left to right: Eileen Carr, Catherine Rhatigan, Mickey Dunne, Prannie Rhatigan, Paul Dooley, Dave Aebli

Tale of the Gael is a vibrant and unusual mix of personalities from the world of Irish music, all with their own distinct musical profiles and backgrounds…

Between them, these folk have played at most of the Pipers Festivals and many of the harp festivals of Europe and the US, in Carnegie Hall, at Fleadhanna, with Orchestras, for Diplomats and Dignitaries from the Kennedy Family in the US to E.U Leaders in the Council of Europe, and on numerous TV specials.

Robert Tobin, Carlow, silver flute

Robert Tobin

Robert Tobin

Robert currently resides in London and recently completed Masters degree in Music Performance in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2012 he completed his  degree in Music Performance with First Class Honours  in the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin and later studied in Vienna’s Universtät für Musik. He has appeared with RTE Concert Orchestra, the Hibernian Symphony Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, and is a reserve musician for the European Union Youth Orchestra.

As a soloist Robert has appeared in Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, Finland and Russia. In February 2012 he received first prize in the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe bursary competition and in 2013 won the McCullough Cup and the Lyric Fm Radio Bursary for Woodwind Concerto at the Feis Ceoil, Dublin. A fine whistle player too, he brings both his classical and traditional skills into play during Tale of the Gael performances.


Deirdre Star, Carlow, voice

Deirdre Starr

Deirdre Starr

London-born Deirdre has performed as a soloist with  the sell-out Woman’s Heart in New Zealand, where she also headlined in various Folk Festivals. She has toured extensively in Germany where her voice was  featured on radio, and has has sung with the London Symphony Chorus. In Ireland she has shared the stage with some of the country’s finest musicians during her long career as a singer and musician. Also featured regularly on Irish television, Deirdre’s evocative voice can be heard on several CDs and recordings.



Dave Aebli,  Switzerland, Bass, Bouzouki

Dave Aebli

Dave Aebli

Dave started playing Irish music at sixteen, and hasn’t stopped. He plays with several groups and has an impressive mastery of not just Irish rhythms but Greek and Balkan music too. His tasteful bouzouki and bass arrangements can be heard on several recordings of Irish, Greek and Swiss folk music, and he has toured in Greece, Ireland, Italy, France, and most recently Australia with different bands.

Mickey Dunne , Limerick, Uilleann pipes, whistles, fiddle

Mickey Dunne, great on the fiddle as well as the pipes!

Mickey Dunne, great on the fiddle as well as the pipes, with Paul Dooley, who also plays wire harp

Mickey, a legend in his own right,  comes from one of the last of Ireland’s families of travelling pipers, and learned his craft from his father and uncles who travelled the length and breadth of Ireland with their music.

From Limerick, Mickey has guested at Pipers Gatherings all over the world, as a performer and teacher over the last thirty years. He is also a pipe maker and a great fiddle player!

With Finbarr Furey and Paddy Keenan, he runs the now famous Pipers Gathering in Clare every year. He has recorded with his daughters.

Catherine Rhatigan, Sligo, Irish harp,

Catherine Rhatigan,

Catherine Rhatigan,

Catherine spent some years playing and touring with the Belfast Harp Orchestra in the nineties, including a tour of the eastcoast of America with The Chieftains. A secondary school teacher of English for many years, she binds the words to the music, and has written several historical scripts for musical theatre, and worked with the James Joyce Foundation in Zurich on their recent and highly acclaimed stage/musical interpretation of James Joyce’s excerpts from Ulysses.  She has taught and performed in the USA, Ireland, France, Italy , South Africa and Switzerland, and currently plays with the Swiss Celtic Harp Ensemble.

Patricia Keane, Donegal, Characterisation

Trish Keane

Trish Keane

Trisha has trod the boards at various theater festivals throughout Ireland, in all capacities. Starting with a ‘Best All Ireland Actress Award in 2011, she regularly takes ‘Best Supporting Actress’ and recently topped her own personal best with 8 Best Actress awards in her 2013 season of competitions in the hard fought All Ireland Drama Circuit.   She particularly enjoys musical theater where her rich contralto voice can come into its own. This is her first project with Tale of the Gael, though she and Catherine have worked together in several musical theater and cabaret shows.

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