ABOUT THE CLADDAGH ROGUES
James O’Flynn and his folk band The Claddagh Rogues have battled their fair share of demons to consistently produce passionate music rooted in their troubled lives. The Claddagh Rogues were born out of Cork’s Simon Community, which cares for the homeless and those at risk, in 2007. They have produced two EPs and their first album, For the Record, launched at the First Fortnight festival in January 2017 with guest performer John Spillane. The album was produced with Louise McCormick and John Crone who have previously worked with Davy Spillane, Tír na nÓg and U2.
James, lead singer and songwriter with The Claddagh Rogues, spent most of his early life in prison, under psychiatric care and homeless on the streets of Cork. Fellow Claddagh Rogues founder member and lead vocalist Mags Kelly experienced addiction and homelessness. The new album pays tribute to Mags, who passed away in 2014, aged just 44.
James and Mags started The Claddagh Rogues during an artist-in-resident project at the Cork Simon Community in 2007, led by musician and clinical nurse Kevin O’Shanahan who specialises in mental health and the arts for Cork’s mental health services. Kevin, who plays and writes with the band, said a project designed to explore creativity and build confidence and self-esteem has grown to be so much more: ‘The group’s writing has the energy and vibrancy of lives lived on the on the edge. The songs are based on experiences of both the darker sides of life – addiction, homelessness, incarceration in prison and psychiatric institutions and also those things that light up our lives such as friendship, beauty and love. Through his songs, James recovery journey continues to inspire. Mags’s untimely passing and our wish to honour her memory through music is the motivation for this album and tour.’
The Claddagh Rogues are supported by HSE South’s Cork Arts and Health Programme, Cork City Arts Office, Cork Mental Health Services and MusicAlive.