, born Máire Ní Bhraonáin
(Irish pronunciation: [m?a?r?? n?i? v??i?n??a?n\]), also known as Máire Brennan
(born 4 August 1952), is an Irish folk singer, songwriter, harpist, and philanthropist. She began performing professionally in 1970 when her family formed the band Clannad, and is now widely considered as the "First Lady of Celtic Music". Moya released her first solo album in 1992 called Máire
, a successful venture, her solo career has remained successful to this day, many years after Clannad took a hiatus in 1996. She has been nominated for two Grammys and has won an Emmy Award. She has recorded with many world-famous musicians and has provided music for several soundtracks, including Titanic
, To End All Wars
and King Arthur
.AutobiographyIn 2000, she wrote an autobiography called The Other Side of the Rainbow
.In it Brennan recalls her upbringing as the eldest of nine siblings in rural County Donegal, Ireland. Along with the highs of success in the music business she also recounts low periods where alcohol, drugs and an abortion made her re-evaluate her life. She emerged from dark years as a committed Christian with rekindled faith. She remarried in 1991 (having previously been married to a Dublin musician) and now lives in Dublin, Ireland with husband, photographer Tim Jarvis, and children, Aisling and Paul. Brennan and her family are practising members of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship.
Brennan is Goodwill Ambassador for the international charity, Christian Blind Mission, and travels worldwide with the organisation, including recent trips to the Congo, Brazil and America. Moya has, since rekindling her faith, been a supporter of Teen Challenge, a charity operating in Ireland and the USA and in 2008 she performed a concert to raise funds to build a new drug rehabilitation centre for the children.
Moya Brennan is also a well-known philanthropist.
Christian Blind Mission
In 2003, Moya Brennan became Goodwill Ambassador to Christian Blind Mission Ireland (CBM). Brennan's first trip was to Congo-Kinshasa, with a group of five others. Due to violence, Moya and her team fled civil unrest and were evacuated to Kenya. She later promised to return to the Congo, which she did in 2005 to airlift three children from isolated jungle villages to Kinshasa.In that same year, she travelled to Rwanda, where she kept a diary of her experiences. In 2005, she made an Irish-language documentary for TG4 during her visit to Congo, which was broadcast in 2007, and again in 2008 on both TG4 and RTÉ.Moya also travelled to shanty-towns in Brazil and performed a fund-raising event in the country with Assiria Nascemento in 2007. From there Moya travelled to Belize for the opening of a school for abused children, run by the Liberty Foundation and backed by CMB. At the opening, Brennan brought together the Belizean Prime Minister Said Musa, Minister of Finance, Leader of the Opposition and UK Conservative Party member and businessman with extensive business interest in Belize, Michael Ashcroft, Baron Ashcroft.The following year, Brennan travelled to Tanzania and has played a major role in bringing the missions of the charity to the forefront. She has also performed concerts worldwide with other Christian Blind Mission Goodwill Ambassadors from Europe.
Helping those with addiction
Brennan performs various concerts in aid of charities and groups that work to rehabilitate those affected by drug addiction and alcohol dependency. She also practices religion with her family in Dún Laoghaire, at a church which also reaches out to young people affected by drug and alcohol misuse.
With family band Clannad, Brennan has recorded numerous songs about the needed protection of the landscapes in Ireland and the devastation of pollution around the world. The first song about the matter was recorded for their debut album and was called "An Pháirc". Throughout Moya's solo career, she has recorded various songs on the issue including "Big Yellow Taxi".In July 2005, Brennan took part in a protest alongside poet Cathal Ó Searcaigh and locals of County Donegal to protest against the installation of electric cables across various areas of the county due to the harm it could cause to both people and the landscape.
Other appointments and music
In 1985, Brennan along with her band members in Clannad donated their song "Almost Seems (Too Late To Turn)" to Children in Need, becoming the British charity appeal's first official single.In 1986, Brennan performed alongside Bono, Bob Geldof and Chris de Burgh for Self Aid. She also performed with Clannad at the concert. Moya and Clannad have long been supporters of Amnesty International and contributed their single "Rí na Cruinne" to the organisation. Brennan has also attended various benefits in both Ireland and England, most notably alongside Van Morrison in 1996.Moya has recorded dozens charitable singles and on many more albums with various artists, including "Raphael's Journey" by Joanne Hogg in 2008, "Songs for Luca" and "Songs for Luca 2" by Iona, and the official anthem for Ireland's 2008 Olympic bid, "Green to Gold". Moya also donated her b-side "Ceolfaidh Mé" to the Field of Hope
album, which also features Bono and The Corrs. In October 2008, Brennan was appointed director for Ireland's first Christian satellite radio station, UCB Ireland, which operates from Dublin. Moya also recorded a song under her birth name "Máire Ní Bhraonáin" on the 2009 Ceol Cheann Dubhrann
album with Manus Lunny to raise funds for Áislann Rann na Feirste and Scoil Náisiúnta Rann na Feirste.