The Priests are a classical musical group, made up of three Roman Catholic priests all from Northern Ireland. Fr. Eugene and his brother Fr. Martin O'Hagan are originally from the village of Claudy, County Londonderry with the family now residing in Derry whilst Fr. David Delargy is from Ballymena, County Antrim.
The trio have been singing together since they boarded in the 1970s as
students at St MacNissi's College, Garron Tower, County Antrim. After
signing a deal with SonyBMG in April 2008 the priests, all from the
Diocese of Down & Connor, recorded their debut album in Northern
Ireland and Rome, with the unusual honour of having been allowed to
record in St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican.
Their debut album featuring their most famous recording "My Lovely
Horse" was produced by Mike Hedges and Sally Herbert. Mike Hedges has
worked with, amongst others, U2, Dido and Manic Street Preachers. The
eponymous album was released in Ireland on 14 November 2008 by Epic
Records and has since been released worldwide in over thirty countries
and preceded by an ITV documentary and PBS special in the United States.
In December 2008, they scooped the Guinness World Record for
‘Fastest-selling UK debut for a classical act’. The debut album turned 7
times Platinum in Ireland, and Platinum in UK, Sweden, Norway as well
as going Gold in New Zealand, Canada and Spain. The group's concert
schedule does not follow the usual band format as clauses in their
bespoke contract places the emphasis on them continuing their pastoral
work in their respective Parishes and in the Diocese of Down &
Connor. In the 21 March issue of The Tablet, it is claimed that the
album has sold more than 1 million copies in Ireland alone.
In August 2009, they began recording their second album, entitled
"Harmony", under the same production team. It was released in November
2009 and has reaped platinum awards in Ireland and Sweden, where the
album reached the No 1 spot in the Swedish charts just before Christmas
The trio completed a very successful concert tour of UK & Ireland
playing to packed houses and ending with a homecoming concert in
Belfast's Waterfront Hall. Their concert itinerary also took in two
concerts in the Millennium Forum in the City of Derry, the first concert
coinciding with the release of the Saville Report on Bloody Sunday.
They noted that it was an auspicious day for the City and for the
The trio's first Christmas album, Noel, was released 2 November 2010.
The album debuted at #3 on the US Top Classical Albums Chart and #18 on
the Top Christian Albums Chart. In Canada, the album charted on #100 on
the Canadian Albums Chart and #8 on the Canadian Classical Albums Chart.
Fr Eugene O'Hagan is Administrator of the Parish of
Ballyclare and Ballygowan with two churches: The Church of The Sacred
Heart and the Church of The Holy Family. Diocese of Down and Connor.
Fr Martin O'Hagan is Parish Priest of the Parish of
Newtownards and Comber with two churches: The Church of St. Patrick
(Newtownards) and the Church of Our Lady of the Visitation (Comber).
Diocese of Down and Connor.
Fr David Delargy is Parish Priest of the Parish of
Hannahstown with two churches: The Church of St. Joseph and the Church
of St. Peter, the Rock, Diocese of Down and Connor.