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Conquerors Photo Gallery (1971-present)

Photo Gallery - Band Lineups - Discography - Audio samples - Where Are They Now?

The Story

The Conquerors have the distinction of being one of the longest running bands in Ireland. Along with the Casino/Indians, the band has been on the road continuously (as opposed to a few bands that have reformed in recent years) for almost 40 years!

The story of the Conquerors is actually the story of two bands. Founded in Birr, County Offaly, and managed by Frank Barry, the original band was a middle of the road showband that had broken up by 1970 (more to come).

In 1971 two members of the original band, Tom Fitzgerald and Senan Davies, decided to take another shot and reformed the band with new members, this time being headquartered in Portumna. They added Willie Carty on guitar, local accordion whiz kid Tony Maher on keyboards, Louis Burgoyne on drums and Brendan Hogan on bass guitar. This "original" lineup of the second version of the band hit the road on September 1, 1971. In 1972 they released their first record, Home Away From Home, featuring guitarist Willie Carty. Managed by Tom Dolphin, who also had managed the Astronauts Showband, the band was doing well and began to build a following regionally, but realized something more was needed to launch them into the ranks of the showband elite.

In 1974, Tom Fitzgerald left the band and Con Hynes, manager of Derrick Mehaffey (who had been fronting the Royal in its waning years) suggested the two get together and for a time Con managed the band known initially as Derrick and the Conquerors, but the name was soon shortened to Derrick's Band. The band also added a sax player, Mike Healy to fill out the band's sound and expanded to a seven piece. Derrick and the band released a record, Singing A Song About Love, but it failed to make an impression with punters and within 18 months, Derrick had left to join the Paddy Cole band and Con Hynes was gone as well.

In July, 1975, with Tom Dolphin back as manager, the band recruited lead singer, Tommy Flynn, from Killaloe in County Clare. A short time after Tommy joined, Mike Healy left and the band was  back to the six piece, which they would remain for over a decade. During this time, the Conquerors became known as one of the best musical bands in the country, but chart success still eluded them. In late 1978, that all changed when Baby Come Back, a single featuring Tommy, entered the Irish Charts and rose to number 12. Their follow-up single, released in 1979 was Galway Are Back, a tribute to the Galway football team, which also entered the Charts. The Galway record would also be re-released on many occasions, becoming a perennial favourite of Galway football supporters.

In the late seventies, the band released several good, if not very original records, including several Beatles numbers, none of which matched the success of previous offerings. Then, in 1983, the band released Baby Blue which would finally provide them with their first top ten hit, peaking at number seven in the Irish charts. Bolstered by the success of Baby Blue, the band decided to take the major step of forming their own record company and later in 1983, they released their first single, When I Get Back Home on their own Conks Label.

In 1985, after more than a decade, Tommy Flynn left the band and emigrated to the United States. Replacing him was a young guitarist, Frankie Colohan, who was also an excellent singer and the band had three guitarists for a time. The band went with this lineup for a short time, when just a year later, original member Senan Davies left the band. Tony Hogan was brought in as lead singer and the band went back to a dual guitar lineup. Around this time (late 80's) Willie Carty left the stage to look after the band's management affairs which had been previously handled by Jim O'Connor (former bass player with the Nevada).  

Tony's tenure as lead vocalist would be short by Conqueror's standards and he left the band in 1989 to be replaced by Sean Slattery. The "new" look Conquerors would not have another lineup change for the next 18 years.

As the 80's became the 90's and the traditional ballroom scene was all but dead, the Conquerors easily moved into the Corporate/Wedding band scene and were soon one of the highest paid acts in Ireland. Years of entertaining dancers gave them the musical chops to take on any style and Sean's dynamic presence as a front man made them the perfect band for special occasions.

During this time, Tony and Frankie had also become more and more involved in the Irish recording scene, playing on countless tracks recorded in Headford's Greenfields Studios, as well as producing records for a wide range of new and veteran artists. As the band grew from strength to strength, they eventually became the second longest continuously running band in Ireland behind only the Indians (formerly the Casino).

In 2007, the band was still going strong and remained in high demand for weddings and corporate events. They also often double as the "house" band for major concert events such as the Miami 30 Year Anniversary concert held in 2005. However, 2007 also saw a change for the first time since 1989 when in late 2007, Sean Slattery and Doc Horan left to form their own band, Sean Slattery and the Connections. Joining the Conqs was their first female member ever, Lorraine McDonald, formerly with The Showband Show and daughter of the Drifters' Frankie McDonald, along with local drummer Paul Vignoles. At the same time, Brendan Hogan also called it quits and was replaced by James Blennerhassett (who once played with the Kim Newport Band.) Tony Maher remains the only original member of the band, and he has been on the road since 1971 - 39 years!      

Photo Gallery

Click on thumbnails for full images

Conquerors - 1971 (LR) Conquerors - 1972 Derrick's Band - 1975 Conquerors - 1975 Conquerors - 1975 (DL)
Conquerors - 1975 (PH) Conquerors - 1978 Conquerors - 1978 (DD)

Conquerors in the Studio - 1978

Conquerors - 1981
Conquerors - 1983 Conquerors - 1983 Conquerors - 1986 Conquerors - 1990's (BK) Conquerors (LR)
Conquerors - 1990's (LR) Conquerors - 2008 Conquerors - 1978 (PH) Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF)
Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF)
Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF)
Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF) Conquerors (RF) Derrick's Band (RF)
Record Sleeves
A - Conquerors B - Conquerors A - Conquerors - 1983 B - Conquerors - 1983 A - Conquerors - 1981
   
B - Conquerors - 1981 A - Conquerors - 1983 B - Conquerors - 1983 Coming Soon Coming Soon
Year Vocals/Sax Guitar Bass Drums Keyboards Guitar Sax/Perc.
1971 Tom
Fitzgerald
Senan
Davies
Brendan
Hogan
Louis
Burgoyne
Tony
Maher
Willie
Carty
Mike  (steel)
Keane
1972 Tom
Fitzgerald
Senan
Davies
Brendan
Hogan
Shay
Spain
Tony
Maher
Willie
Carty
Mike  (steel)
Keane
1974 Derrick
Mehaffey
Senan
Davies
Brendan
Hogan
Shay
Spain
Tony
Maher
Willie
Carty
Mike
Healy
July
1975
Tommy
Flynn
Senan
Davies
Brendan
Hogan
Shay
Spain
Tony
Maher
Willie
Carty
Mike
Healy
1978 Tommy
Flynn
Senan
Davies
Brendan
Hogan
Shay
Spain
Tony
Maher
Willie
Carty
 
1979 Tommy
Flynn
Senan
Davies
Brendan
Hogan
Doc
Horan
Tony
Maher
Willie
Carty
 
1985 Frankie
Colohan
Senan |
Davies
Brendan
Hogan
Doc
Horan
Tony
Maher
Willie
Carty
 
1986 Tony
Hogan
Frankie
Colohan
Brendan
Hogan
Doc
Horan
Tony
Maher
Willie
Carty
 
1989 Sean
Slattery
Frankie
Colohan
Brendan
Hogan
Doc
Horan
Tony
Maher
   
2007 Lorraine
McDonald
Frankie
Colohan
James
Blennerhassett
Paul
Vignoles
Tony
Maher
   

Discography

(singles)

Home Away From Home (Willie Carty) / Sweet Mental Revenge (Brendan Hogan)
Unknown Label - 1972
Woman Hungry / Sweet Mental Revenge (Brendan Hogan)
Release Records - 1973
Same Old Song / Arms Full of Empty
Hawk Records - HASP.339 - 1974
Singing A Song About Love / All My Love (Derrick & The Conquerors)
Hawk Records - HASP.353 - 1974
Leading Lady / Same Old Story Again (Tommy Flynn)
Release Records - RL.914 - May, 1978
Baby Come Back / Hey Girl - #12 Irish Charts
Spider Records - WEB.004 - December, 1978
Galway Are Back / Same Old Story - #30 Irish Charts
Spider Records - WEB.013 - August, 1979
You're Gonna Lose That Girl / You Made It Right
Spider Records - WEB 024 - 1980
Softly Softly / Galway are Back
Spider Records - WEB 033 - 1980
Come On Over To My Place / Sugar Sugar
Spider Records - WEB 043 - 1981
Help / Getting Out
Libra Records  - LIB 001 - 1981

Baby Blue  / You Made It Right - #7 Irish Charts

Drive Records - DRS 009 - February, 1983
When I Get Back Home / Lagan Love
Conks Records - CRS 001 - 1983
You’re the Reason Why / Leading Lady
Conks Records  - CRS 002 - 1983
Scarlet Ribbons / When I Get Back Home
Conks Records - CRS 004 - 1984?
Cover Up / Getting it Out 
Conks Records  - CRS 006 - 1985?
When A Lady Falls In Love / Good Vibes
Conks Records - CRS 007 - 1986
Seven Drunken Nights
Unknown Label - 1993
New York, New York
Unknown Label - 1994
Unknown Dates:
Pretty Woman
Tear Stained Letter
Lonesome Me
You're Having My Baby

Audio Clips

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

Tony Maher: Tony and the boys are still going strong. For years, Tony lived in Galway, but recently relocated to Headford where he maintains an extensive home studio and does a lot of work with other artists as well as for himself.    
Brendan Hogan: Like Tony, Brendan was one of the original members of the band and had been on the road for almost forty years. In 2007, Brendan finally retired from playing with the band and was replaced by Sligo's James Blennerhassett on bass. 
Tom Fitzgerald - RIP: We received the sad news that Tom passed away on the 6th of July, 2014. He had been singing locally up until a few years before his death when he got ill and had to retire. Our thanks to his daughter, Siobhan for the info.  
Senan Davies: Unknown - if you have info please email us 
Louis Burgoyne: Enda Dempsey writes to tell us that Louis now lives in Athlone where he teaches the drums. We also received an email from Paul Brennan telling us the Louis has spent the last 16 years playing around the midlands with the band, Heatwave. If you have any further info, please let us know. 
Willie Carty: Willy retired from performing a few years back and took over management of the band from Jim O'Connor, their former manager. In the ensuing years, he has built himself a stable of other acts and now operates his own entertainment agency.    
Derrick Mehaffey: Since his short time with the Conquerors, Derrick has remained one of the most enduring artists on the Irish scene. His musical travels have taken him to Canada, Nashville and Denmark where he has enjoyed continuing success. He has released several albums and although his original leaning was toward pop music, Derrick today does most of his crooning in the country and Irish vein.
Shay Spain: We understand from Enda Dempsey that Shay went on to play with Royal Flush and today he manages the band. 
Mike Healy: Kevin Molloy writes: Mike Healy, former sax player with the Conquerors, is still living in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Mike is a professional painter and decorator, but he is still involved in the music business as part of tribute band, The Pink Floyd Experience.
Tommy Flynn: After leaving the band, Tommy emigrated to the United States. He currently plays the Northeastern US with his New York Showband and is doing quite well at it too!
Michael Keane: RIP After leaving the Conquerors, Michael also played with the Frank McCaffrey and the Country Folk. He also did extensive session work on both guitar and pedal steel at recording sessions in Greenfields Studios in Headford, Co. Galway. Sadly, Michael passed away in 2002.
Doc Horan: Doc had been providing a solid backbone for the Conquerors since he took over the drum sticks in the late 1970's until 2007. He left the band with Sean Slattery to form a new corporate/wedding band, The Connections, based out of Galway.
Frankie Colohan: One of the finest guitarists in Ireland, Frankie joined the Conquerors rather "late," in the early 1980's. He has now been with the band for over twenty years and has become one of the top session guitarists in Ireland. Along with Tony Maher, they regularly produce records for a wide variety of artists across the country in their studio now located in Headford.    
Sean Slattery: Sean was considered the "new guy" in the band even after playing with them for eighteen years! He finally parted company with the Conquerors in early 2007 and formed a group with drummer Doc Horan called The Connections. He lives in Galway and is gigging regularly, playing dances, concerts, weddings and corporate events.
James Blennerhassett: After starting his career with late 70's punk group, Fit Kilkenny and the Remoulds, James moved into the showband world joining The Kim Newport Band in his native Sligo in 1980. After a short stint with the band, which also included future Tweed drummer, Seanie Ryan, he moved to the world of session work and earned a reputation as one of the top bass players in the country. In the mid 80's he was with The Hennigan's Blooze Band. Throughout the 90's and until joining the Conquerors in 2008, James toured with acts like Mary and Francis Black, Brian Kennedy, Gilbert O'Sullivan and many more.


 

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In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006