Irish band, Seo Linn, performs in Reinbeck

Irish band Seo Linn held a performance at the Reinbeck Memorial Building on Monday, playing to a packed room. Shown above, from left to right, are band members: Dáithí Ó Ruaidh, Kevin Shortall, Stiofan Ó Fearail and Keith Ó Briain. (Michaela Kendall/The Grundy Register photo)

REINBECK - Music - and the revival of the Irish Gaelic language - is what brought up-and-coming Irish band Seo Linn to Iowa this week.


After their performance at the Iowa Irish Fest in Waterloo this weekend, the group of musicians came to Grundy County early this week and held performances in both Reinbeck and Conrad, in an event sponsored by the Grundy County Library Association.


During their performance in Reinbeck, the band packed the Memorial Building and had the crowd clapping, dancing and singing along to songs in Gaelic.


Seo Linn is an Irish Gaelic phrase that translates to “Let’s go,” or “Off we go.” And off the band has gone, touring all over Ireland, Europe and now America.


The band consists of four members: Dáithí Ó Ruaidh, Keith Ó Briain, Kevin Shortall and Stiofan Ó Fearail.

Three of the four band members - Dáithí, Kevin and Stiofan - are teachers at a summer college in Ireland, where they teach music and Irish Gaelic to young students.


Their love of music, and their goal of reviving the Irish Gaelic language both at home and abroad, is what brought them together, and on tour around the world.


“[Gaelic] is one of those things that’s taught a little bit in school, but it’s similar to learning Latin, or something like that; it’s not really spoken conversationally throughout Ireland because everyone speaks English,” says band member Kevin Shortall. “None of us grew up speaking Gaelic either. It’s seen more as a boring school subject, but our hope is that we can teach people Gaelic through music by making it fun.”


The band does this by translating pop hit songs, many from the U.S., into Irish Gaelic and by writing their own music in Gaelic and English. 


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