Tír na nÓg

Tír na nÓg was an Irish folk–psych duo comprised of guitarist–vocalist Sonny Condell and onetime Emmet Spiceland multi-instrumentalist Leo O’Kelly. They made the 1971–73 Chrysalis albums Tír na nÓg, A Tear and a Smile, and Strong in the Sun. Condell made the praised 1977 album Camouflage and co-founded the folk combo Scullion.

Members: Leo O’Kelly (guitar, bass, violin, tin whistle, vocals), Sonny Condell (guitar, percussion, vocals)


Tír na nÓg formed in Dublin in 1969 when Condell and O’Kelly (both 20) met and discovered their mutual affinity for folk music.

Condell hailed from Newtownmountkennedy in the Wicklow Hills, where he was raised on classical music. He first recorded as a member of beatsters Tramcarr 88, which included his cousin John Roberts. Their sole release, “Look” (Roberts) b/w “In the Morning” (Condell), appeared in 1969 on the Irish Song label.

O’Kelly came from Carlow, where he took to the darker and heavier side of psychedelic rock. As a teen, he played in local show bands (Tropical Showband) and beat groups (The Word). He also toured with the popular folk group Emmet Spiceland.

Condell and O’Kelly took the name Tír na nÓg — an island of eternal youth and beauty in Celtic folklore — and migrated to London, where they played the local folk clubs and landed a deal with Chrysalis Records.


  • Tír na nÓg (1971)
  • A Tear and a Smile (1972)
  • Strong in the Sun (1973)


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