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Mick Delahunty (and Mick Delahunty Jr.) Orchestra and Band

Mick Delahunty and his big band were a fixture on the Irish Ballroom scene for 50 years. Based in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, the band were part of the generation of sit down orchestras that preceded the showband era ushered in by The Clipper Carlton and others in the later 1950's. The first advert for the band we have found was in July, 1940.

In 1957, the band was resident in the Showboat Ballroom in Youghal, Co. Cork (and would be so for many years).

In the very early 1960's, a small war or words took place across entertainment columns across Ireland as to the quality of the new upstart showbands against the established orchestras like Maurice Mulcahy and Mick Delahunty. Mick's band were still considered one of the top outfits in the country touring as a 14-piece orchestra, but as the sixties progressed, the fortunes ofg the older orchestras faded, along with Mick and his band.     

In an interview published in Spotlight in January, 1970, Mick was asked why the band had continued to play sitting down when the rest of the bands kicked away their music stands. He responded, "Wouldn't we look a bit silly prancing around the stage after all these years?" By the time 1970 rolled around Delahunty and Maurice Mulcahy were the only two orchestras left on the scene, but Maurice's band was already becoming a showband by that time.

Mick never had a manager, "I remember a time when there was no such thing as a promoter or middleman in the business and I preferred it that way," he commented. "I like to look after my own affairs and meet people myself."

In early 1971, Mick Junior took over leading the band and it appears Mick retied aged around 50. Dance adverts for the band showed them as many names during this time including: The Mick Delahunty Jr. Showband, Mick Delahunty, Mick Delahunty Orchestra, etc.

From what we have been able to find online, it appears that the band toured regularly as a showband throughout the 1970's but around 1980, they appeared to have settled into being a more regional band, playing mainly in Munster. They played regular residencies in hotels and the odd dinner dance and political event. One way or another, the never seemed to be off the road, but the long trips definitely faded away.   

Although we will continue to try and research the story of the band, we do know that Mick's death was one of the most unusual and touching in all of Irish entertainment history. His band had been playing a fortnightly (every two weeks) residency in the ballroom of the Greenwood Inn in Ardpatrick, Co. Limerick for fifteen years. In February, 1992 Mick had fallen ill and it was decided the band would finish up the residency in fitting fashion. Mick got up from his sick bed to attend the last night and thanked the crowd of 350 patrons for their support of the band over the years. As he left the stage, to rejoin his wife, Margaret, he collapsed and died on the dance floor. 

More to come !

Click on thumbnails for full images

Harmony Dance Band Mick Delahunty Mick Delahunty Mick Delahunty Orchestra - 1946 (BB) Mick Delahunty (BB)
Mick Delahunty (BB) Mick Delahunty - 1941 Mick Delahunty - 1970 Mick Delahunty Jr. Mick Delahunty Jr (RF)
Mick Delahunty (RF) Mick Delahunty (RF) Mick Delahunty (RF) Mick Delahunty (RF) Mick Delahunty (RF)
Mick Delahunty (RF) Mick Delahunty (RF) Mick Delahunty (RF) Mick Delahunty Jr (RF) Mick Delahunty Jr (RF)
Mick Delahunty - 1948 Mick Delahunty - 1940 Mick Delahunty - 1987 Mick Delahunty - 1960 Coming Soon

Lineup Changes (Coming Soon)

Years Vocals Vocals Guitar/Keyb Bass Bass Bass Drums Bass Keyboards
1957 Mary





Audio Clips (Coming Soon)

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?   (Coming Soon)

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