· Father Eugene O’ Hagan, aged 50, of the Parish of Ballyclare and Ballygowan: Church of The Sacred Heart and Church of The Holy Family. Diocese of Down and Connor
· Father Martin O’ Hagan, aged 46, of the Parish of Cushendun: Church of St. Patrick (Craigagh), Church of St. Mary, The Star of the Sea (Culraney). Diocese of Down and Connor
· Father David Delargy, aged 46 of the Parish of Hannahstown: Church of St. Joseph and Church of St. Peter, the Rock , Diocese of Down and Connor
Accolades to date:
Global music phenomenon of the year with more than 2 million copies of their debut album sold worldwide
Bigger than Pavarotti - The Priests was the fastest selling classical debut album of all time – an official Guiness World Record holder.
Press highlights include Time magazine, Observer Music Monthly, UK broadsheets and national TV
They have pledged never to give up their "day jobs"
The Priests are a classical musical group made up of Fr Eugene O’Hagan, Fr Martin O’Hagan and Fr David Delargy. The trio met for the first time at St MacNissi’s College, County Antrim, and quickly realised their musical prowess as a singing trio. Singing was both part of prayer plus, in their spare time, they performed in local operas, musicals and choirs.
The Priests continued following their vocational training at The Seminary in Belfast and concluded their training at the revered Irish College in Rome after studying there for a total of 16 years between them. It was in Rome that their combined and rare talent was recognised, signified by the invitation of the Pope’s private secretary, the Papal Master of Ceremonies, to sing for the Pope in the sacred liturgy.
The Priests talent was soon recognised by Nick Raphael, a Sony Music record label head, and they signed to the label for a £1Million contract on the steps of Westminster Abbey in April 2008. The Priests were adamant to never allow their music commitments to stand in the way of their day jobs and parish obligations, and this is written into their contract.
The Priests debut performance was a spectacular event in Northern Ireland’s Armagh Cathedral in September 2008 where they sang a collection of classical and religious songs for a packed cathedral as well as for film cameras that were later to be broadcast coast to coast on the United States PBS channel. The concert was later released on DVD and soon became a best seller.
Their debut album, The Priests, was produced by legend Mike Hedges and Sally Herbet and released in Ireland on the 14th November 2008 by Epic Records. Globally it sold almost 2 million copies in more than 40 countries and topped the charts in Ireland, going platinum seven times over, as well as making the top tens in album charts and hitting platinum in countries as diverse as Spain, Norway and Sweden. To mark the album release an ITV documentary was broadcast detailing their extraordinary rise from obscurity to global stardom.
The Priests have since scooped the Guinness World Record for ‘Fastest-selling UK debut for a classical act’ and been nominated for a Classical Brit. They have played in venues across the world, playing live to 3,000 people in Sydney and to 6,000 people at a homecoming gig in June 2009. Other accolades include a personal invitation to sing for The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall as well as starting out their tour with a performance in the presence of HM The and Mary McAleese, the President of Ireland at a huge peace and reconciliation charity.
Their rise to global stardom has been documented across the world’s print including headline features in the Washington Post, Time Magazine and Observer Music Monthly and they have appeared in TV shows across the world with artists from Tom Jones to The Killers including the BBC’s coveted Jonathan Ross show and the News at Ten with Sir Trevor MacDonald.
Their second album, Harmony, is out on the 23rd November by Sony label Epic. The album will feature tracks such as The Lord’s Prayer and Amazing Grace and will be released once again by Sony label, Epic.