Biography-Original Folk Songs & Irish Ballad Variations


Cathal O'Briain is a Dublin born Folk singer and songwriter with a passion for creating new variations of old Irish Ballads, and for writing original folk songs about the aspiring human spirit. Currently he collaborates with the legendary composer and producer Peter Eades at The Playroom recording studios in Dublin, Ireland. Previously Cathal worked in the Irish Mental Health sector. During this time he wrote the book Powerful Mind Through Self-Hypnosis, which in 2010 was an international bestseller in the category of Hypnosis and Psychology.

Cathal played the Irish circuit for over twenty years as a solo ballad singer and guitarist. He started out doing a Christy Moore Tribute Show before making the decision to only perform original folk songs and new variations of well known traditional ballads and rebel songs. He was resident player in O'Shea's Hotel, Talbot Street, Dublin, The Widow Scallon's, Pearse Street, Dublin, The Plough, Abbey Street, Dublin, The Green Lizard, Francis Street, Dublin, The Magic Carpet, Cabinteely, Dublin, The Exchequer Bar, Exchequer Street, Dublin, The Balmoral Hotel, Warrenpoint, Newry, The Parnell Park House, Malahide Road, Dublin, The Yaght Bar, Skerries, Dublin, and The Keg, Newbridge, Co. Kildare. 

Previous Training: 
On completing his leaving certificate in 1991, Cathal studied Philosophy of Religion at Milltown Institute of Theology & Philosophy, Ranelagh, Dublin, a Jesuit-run institution of higher education. Upon completion, he began a Care Assistant FAS training scheme at the Royal Hospital in Bloomfield Ave, Donnybrook, Dublin, where he took care of elderly patients and assisted the nurse on duty. This was followed by another Care Assistant Post at The Richmond Cheshire Home in Monkstown Village, Dublin, where he looked after adults with physical challenges.

He returned to college to begin an Arts & Crafts Portfolio Preparation course at Dundrum Senior Vocational College, Dublin, which gained him access to Dublin Institute of Technology, Mountjoy Square, where he studied Contemporary Design Presentation. Upon completion, Cathal worked for the next five years as freelance designer and voluntary art curator. During this time he made use of abandoned office spaces in Dublin City, left behind from the recession, converting them into useable Gallery and Market spaces for lesser known artists seeking to display their work. This introduced Cathal to some great artists, especially those with large paintings and sculpture pieces they found difficult to house in Irish Galleries, or keep safe in storage.  

In 2003, he studied at Marino Institute of Higher Education, Griffith Ave, Clontarf, Dublin, and received a Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy.