Dónal is a singer, collaborator and educator from County Down, Northern Ireland.
Whether harmonising on long car journeys with his three brothers or learning traditional songs with local choirs, Dónal has been singing all his life. His great-uncle Redmond Friel was a composer for RTÉ in the 1940s, writing music rooted in traditional music and song of Ireland. Dónal's grandmother Eileen Friel was a harper in the Irish tradition. Although his musical education was initially classical - studying flute and piano as a child - Dónal's family heritage stirred his interest in folksong and the Ulster sean nós repertoire in his early teens.
Currently based in Dublin, Dónal works internationally with various projects, including Tourist Walk with his brothers. As a member of ANÚNA, he toured Asia, Europe, Canada, and the USA, performing on stages such as the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Shanghai Conservatoire of Music, Tokyo's Bunkamura Orchard Hall, De Doelen in Rotterdam, King's Hall in London, and Dublin's O2 Arena.
Dónal sings traditional songs from his native Ulster, learning from sean nós singers like Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde and Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin. As a freelance artist, he has lent his voice to brands like World of Warcraft and Beats by Dre, and his solo voice features on soundtracks by Nintendo (Xenoblade II) and Blizzard. Dónal's original music has been broadcast on RTÉ TV ("First Kiss") and radio (weavers).
Dónal is one third of TRÚ, a folk trio based in Northern Ireland with an eclectic musical heritage. TRÚ's performance of traditional and original songs at Celtic Connections 2018 was met with high praise and the future looks bright as they continue to work on completing their début album.
"Amazing. Stunning voice!" - Janis Ian, Double GRAMMY-award singer-songwriter
"Smart singing. Beautiful singing." - Shirley Collins, folk singer and song collector