Summer of
De Bogman

A chaired Gael!

How are you getting on? I trust this email finds you well. Let me tell you me big news!

Nearly 20 years ago while studying in University College Cork I became friends with a brilliant actor, writer and director by the name of Brian Desmond. I was given a slot in the Dramatic series at the Granary theatre and thought I might do ‘The Islandman’. A translation of ‘An t-Oileanach’ the autobiography of Tomás Ó Criomhthain (1856–1937), published in 1929. I had seen it in Listowel and was mesmerized. Brian thought I was mad as we only had 4 weeks to prep it. He said if I could get a copy of the script he would think about directing it. A week later and still no script, we decided to write our own show.

And, so, on Halloween night in the year 2000 De Bogman was born!

As the Be Your Own Banana Theatre Company We brought it everywhere. From the country towns & schools of Ireland to Port towns in England and over to America where it played Minnesota and off Broadway in NYC. Well, it’s back, Ladies and Gentlemen. And this time it’s playing California.

San Diego June 26 & 27

San Francisco June 28

Los Angeles July 9 & 10

Don’t miss your chance to see the show.
*Not suitable for Children*


De Bogman
Is an Irish emigrant story.  Based loosely on the life story of boxing legend Gentleman Jim Corbett (the man who invented the uppercut), the play charts the adventures of an Irish village idiot who goes to America to become heavyweight boxing champion of the world. The eponymous hero of the tale, as a pariah, belongs very much in the traditions of the Irish emigrant tale.  It’s an unlikely and hilarious twist on the best of this tradition and the rags-to-riches mythology of the Hollywood boxing movie.  While the New World the Bogman encounters is hostile, he blunders in clown-like fashion through all obstacles.  You’d struggle to find a more loveable and innocent boxing hero, who’ll have you roaring from your ringside seat in this “cult classic” (Irish Examiner) of Irish theatre.
If you wish to get in touch with us about the show or the Be You Own Banana Theatre Company email us at or press reply to this email.
Hope to see you there! And if you know of anyone in California please send them along if they need a good laugh. Hup!

Le grá
Máirtín & Brian



You are invited to attend:

De Bogman at Lestats in San Diego – June 26

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
from 7:30 PM8:30 PM

Lestat’s West Venue
3343 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116


De Bogman at Lestats in San Diego – June 27

Thursday, June 27, 2019
from 7:30 PM8:30 PM
Lestat’s West Venue
3343 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116


De Bogman at United Irish Cultural Center in San  – June 28

Friday, June 28, 2019
doors from 7:30 PM – Show at 8
:30 PM

United Irish Cultural Center 
2700 45th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94116

Call: 415-264-8856
Click below for tickets


De Bogman at The Wren Theater, Los Angeles – July 9

Tuesday, July 9, 2019
 8:00 PM9:00 PM

The Wren Theater
742 Vine St.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(In the Irish Import Shop in WeHo)
Call: (323) 467-6714
Available In store Or Click below for tickets


De Bogman at The Wren Theater, Los Angeles – July 10

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
from 8:00 PM9:00 PM
The Wren Theater
742 Vine St.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(In the Irish Import Shop in WeHo)
Call: (323) 467-6714
Available In store Or Click below for tickets






Milo Singing His heart out!


Here it is folks, Milo joined Gabriel Donohue and his dad Máirtín de Cógáin on the big stage of the Norwegian Pearl to sing his heart out with ‘I Tell Me Ma‘ on Joanie Madden’s Folk ‘n’ Irish Cruise Alaskan Adventure. He learnt the song over the summer when he tagged along with me (his dad, like) to the San Diego Children’s Choir Summer Camp, which was a brilliant week. This is one of the songs I thought the group.
Video by Dean & Jackie Wipperman

Milo singing on the big stage

What a Summer! Here is what is going to Fall into line for Máirtín


Oct 5 LA, West Monroe – NELACelticFest
Oct 16-18 NV, Las Vegas – IMEX America
Oct 18-21 TX, Midlothian – O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat
Oct 25 CA, San Diego – Songs of Irish Heroes
Nov 3-4 TX, Austin – Austin Celtic Festival
May 12 – 19 NYC to Bermuda Joanie Madden’s Folk ‘n’ Irish Cruise
More or less info on all dates click here


The Swannanoa Gathering 

This summer saw me for the first time teaching and lecturing at The Swannanoa Gathering during their Celtic Week. Every morning at 9am a class of about 40 would come to learn ‘What is in a tale: The Mask & Playfulness of the Storyteller’ then at 10.45 another 40 or so would listen and discuss ‘The Myths & Legends of Ireland’. It was one of the best teaching weeks I have had. The students were brilliant but I ended up learning quite a lot myself in the research for it and in the classes themselves.

For the Myths & Legends Class I split it up into the four major cycles:

  1. The Mythical Cycle
  2. The Ulster Cycle
  3. The Fenian Cycle
  4. The Historical Cycle

And for the 5th day I focused on the Corkman Thomas Crofton Croker and his Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland book from 1826.
During the Storytelling class we dissected the elements of an interaction between the storyteller and the listener as well as what makes and good story and why we need stories to validate who we are. This was a class that became much more than I had anticipated.
We are in discussion to see if this kind of class could be repeated next year. Le cúnamh Dé they will have me back. Would you sign up for those classes?

Joanie Madden’s Folk ‘n’ Irish Cruise off to Bermuda
We had a ball on the majestic cruise up to Alaska with Joanie Madden and her cast of characters. It was wonderful to collaborate with great musicians and pop up sessions about the boat made it ever exciting.
Next May we go to Bermuda. Joanie told me I was going and I can tell you I went round the garden here doing continuous cartwheels. If you have ever been to the Fleadh Cheoil or a big Irish Festival, it is something like those only it’s on a boat and someone makes your bed, dinner & tea!
Click here to secure your cabin and make sure you tell them Máirtín sent you and it the only reason you are going! A white lie here and there won’t kill you.

Look at the line up!! Jeepers, I am going myself to see all of that gang. It’s massive! Some fellas like Johnny McEvoy are going twice…

Sharon Shannon, Lúnasa, Johnny McEvoy, Johnny McEvoy, Makem & Clancy, Dermot Henry, Daoirí Farrell, Don Stiffe, The Ennis Sisters, Tommy Sands, Padraig Allen and the McLean Avenue Band, Susan McCann, Gerry Timlin, Patrick and Conor O’Sullivan, Arty McGlynn and Nollaig Casey, Gabriel Donohue, Máirtín de Cógáin, Kate Purcell, Billy McComiskey, Dylan Foley and Josh Dukes, Pride of Moyvane Ceili Band, The Great Craic Band, The Sailor’s on the Rock, Sean Fleming Band, Daoiri Farrell, Ronan O’Flaherty, Donie Carroll, Seanie Moloney, Kevin Crawford, Cillian Vallely, Colin Farrell, Trevor Hutchinson, Ed Boyd, John Nolan, Donnchadh Gough, Mary Rafferty Clancy, Rory Makem, Donal Clancy, Hughie Boyle, Brendan O’Shea, Eddi Reader, Phil Cunningham, Pat Shortt, Cormac DeBarra, Joe Biancorusso, Jake James, Kevin McHugh, Tony Corbett, Bruce Foley, Pauline Conneely and Ger Carey, Pat Kane and Terry Kane, Hughie Boyle, Monsignor John Griffin, Patrick & Conor O’Sullivan, Mark Murphy, Irish Step Dancing with Donny Golden, Cara Butler, Jon Pilatzke, David Geaney, Anne Marie Keaney, Declan McHale, Michael Boyle, Michael Holland, Tom Lavin, Set Dance Masters Padraig and Roisin McEneany, Ceili Dance with Paul Keating and Marianne MacDonald Plus Norwegian Cruise Line’s amazing entertainment with fantastic music and Broadway Shows will be there for your enjoyment too!!

Well let me tell you, we had a ball on Joanie’s Alaskan Adventure this August. Milo got up and joined me a number of times and sung his heart out. See the video of it here

The Boy Patrick
A lovely project spearheaded by Patsy O’Brien I gave my drumming to, The Boy Patrick, is now out and in the world for all to have. There is currently a SALE ON – check it out and get your copy now online here

“Patsy O’Brien is a very accomplished musician and a masterful storyteller. In The Boy Patrick he merges both skills to bring alive the story of St. Patrick. Not only does he bring this iconic and often misunderstood iconic figure to life but you emerge from the experience with an understanding and appreciation of Irish instruments and how they function in an ensemble. Think an Irish Prokofiev’s Peter and The Wolf. I look forward to the day when Patsy brings this project to the stage – where it belongs. In the meantime, listen read, and revel in The Boy Patrick as it pushes the envelope on the Irish tradition.”
Larry Kirwan



Summer is here and the flowers are blooming.

Inniskeen Road: July Evening

The bicycles go by in twos and threes –
There’s a dance in Billy Brennan’s barn to-night,
And there’s the half-talk code of mysteries
And the wink-and-elbow language of delight.
Half-past eight and there is not a spot
Upon a mile of road, no shadow thrown
That might turn out a man or woman, not
A footfall tapping secrecies of stone.
I have what every poet hates in spite
Of all the solemn talk of contemplation.
Oh, Alexander Selkirk knew the plight
Of being king and government and nation.
A road, a mile of kingdom, I am king
Of banks and stones and every blooming thing.

Gigs coming up, like

June 2 CA, Poway – House Concert
June 24-29 CA, San Diego – A World of Music Summer Camp (ages 6 to 12)
July 8-14 NC, Swannanoa – Celtic Week
Aug 19-26 Alaska – Joanie Madden’s Alaskan Adventure
Sept 20-23 CO, La Veta – Celtic Music Fest
Oct 5 LA, West Monroe – NELACelticFest
Oct 16-18 NV, Las Vegas – IMEX America
Oct 18 – 21 TX, Midlothian – O’Flaherty Retreat
May 12 – 19 NYC to Bermuda Joanie Madden’s Folk ‘n’ Irish Cruise
More or less info on all dates click here

Two exciting events by Máirtín in San Diego

This Saturday, Jun 2nd I will be playing a house concert in Poway with some of the best musicians of the Irish Tradition in California. It’s a fundraiser for the Comhaltas Branch here in town, where I teach Bodhrán on Thursday nights.
Date: June 2nd (Saturday)
Place: 13609 Ring Rd, Poway, CA 92064
Time: 6pm potluck – Music at 7pm
Cost: $20 suggested donation per person
2. ​Does your child love to Sing & Perform?
If you haven’t all your summer camps set in place I will be teaching Irish Singing &  dancing at the
San Diego Children’s Choir A World of Music Summer Camp: Ireland

Ages: 6-12 (as of September 1, 2018)
Location: UCSD campus, La Jolla
Dates: June 25-29
T​ime: 9am-3pm daily
Free performance for family and friends: June 29
Rate: $345
(Space is limited. Registration closes on June 13.) Rate includes daily lunch, t-shirt, materials, and a free performance at the end of the week. $25 deduction for each additional sibling.

Enroll your child today!
Sign up online:
Call: 858.587.1087

Jeepers! Bus Tour 2018

As you know I brought a bus around Ireland for 8 days and it was fierce craic altogether. The photo above is the group of us in Gleann Cholm Cille with a monument behind us showing a map of the island using a stone from each county in Ireland. We had a most wonderful time, jeepers, the weather was smashing. I even had a 99.
I’m working on our next adventure already. Sometime in 2019 we will be singing our way around the island…will you be there singing along with us? Where would your dream be to visit in Ireland? Get in touch with me here today

Here is a great podcast I have been listening to 

Be careful with this one you might get lost in it for a month, there is so much in it. Fin Dwyer is a great historian and I find his way of presenting Medieval Ireland fascinating. Let me know what you think. Check it all out by clicking here
He also leads walking tours around Dublin. I think I might take one myself the next time I’m up in the big schmoke.

Joanie gave me ‘The Call‘ again!

Well folks, I have been telling you that August will see me in Alaska with Joanie Madden and her Folk’n’Irish gang but she was onto me again say ‘I’ll see you in Bermuda’. Who am I to question things so wonderful? So here are the details and be sure to book your cabin today if you haven’t yet!
The NCL with Escape you from NYC on May 12 and bring us all to Bermuda and back again by May 19. There will be no time for sleeping as the craic is givin’ out by the kilo! Last February was like a Floatin’ Fleadh, for a fortnight and we were only there for a week.
Call Kevin today and book your cabin! Make sure you tell him Máirtín sent you and to put my name at he top of your list! PHONE: 1-855-IRISH-CR (855-474-7427) • BOOKING INQUIRIES: BOOK@JOANIEMADDENCRUISE.COM • GENERAL INFORMATION: INFO@JOANIEMADDENCRUISE.COM

I’m doing a lot of teaching!

Just to give you the run down on what I am at with all the week long gigs, like.

June 24-29 CA, San Diego – A World of Music Summer Camp (ages 6 to 12)
As I was saying above this is a great week of singing and performance in San Diego with the San Diego Children’s Choir. I will be teaching Irish songs in English and as Gaeilge, dancing and some crafts!
July 8-14 NC, Swannanoa – Celtic Week
This will be my first venture into NC for the Swannanoa Gathering and I’ll be teaching Storytelling.
Aug 19-26 Alaska – Joanie Madden’s Alaskan Adventure
Craic gan stad!
Sept 20-23 CO, La Veta – Celtic Music Fest
La Veta is a lovely town in the Coloradan Spanish Peaks. They have me doing all sorts of things from Wed to Sun.
Oct 16-18 NV, Las Vegas – IMEX America
For the last few years Tourism Ireland has myself and a craic team working on selling Ireland. I’ll post a video come October. This is not open to the general public. Are you an IMEXer?
Oct 18 – 21 TX, Midlothian – O’Flaherty Retreat
It’s been a while but I am really looking forward to seeing what might come out of Texas this time! Ken has me teaching Set Dancing and I’m going to try and squeeze in a few céilí dances.

That’s enough for now. I get less time to work on emails and the website with Milo & Finn taking me on adventures and setting banana peels out for me to slip on all day and all night!! Hup! It IS a wonderful life, though.
See you all of a sudden, somewhere
le grá

An tEarrach Thiar


Gentle lapping of oars
As a currach full of fish
Comes towards the shore
On a calm and golden sea
At eventide
In the Western Spring

Gigs coming up

Feb 3-10 Caribbean – Joanie Madden’s Folk ‘n’ Irish Cruise – all sorts of carry on!
Feb 17 CA, La Jolla – Passport to Worlds of Music Series – with The Máirtín de Cógáin Project
Feb 19 CA, San Diego – SDSU’s World Music Series – with the Gallowglass Collective
Feb 24 MN, St. Paul – Éigse CIM – Máirtín as MC
Mar 4-5 TX, Dallas NTIF – Gailfean – Máirtín also calling the céilí
Mar 16 TX, Horseshoe Bay – House Concert – with The Máirtín de Cógáin Project
Mar 17 TX, Austin – St. Patrick’s Day Festival – with The Máirtín de Cógáin Project
Mar 23 MS, Pass Christian – House Concert – with The Máirtín de Cógáin Project
Mar 24 MS, Jackson – CelticFest Mississippi – with The Máirtín de Cógáin Project
May 12-21 Bus Tour of Ireland – SOLD OUT
May 14 IRE, Mayo, Westport Matt Molloy’s Yard Bar – Máirtín and Don Penzien
May 19 NL, Belfast Sunflower Public House – Máirtín and Don Penzien
July 8-14 NC, Swannanoa – Celtic Week
Aug 19-26 Alaska – Joanie Madden’s Alaskan Adventure – all sorts of carry on!
Oct 19 – 21 TX, Midlothian – O’Flaherty Retreat – teaching set dancing
More or less info on all dates click here

Máirtín teaching weekly classes in San Diego

It’s real folks, I will be TEACHING in San Diego Thursday nights
Comhaltas Barry Cogan has set the ball rolling for classes to begin in San Diego in many Irish instruments. I will teaching Bodhrán & Ballad singing. Classes start for all levels on Feb 15th in Claremont and you can enroll on the night. You don’t need anything only the will to learn.
If you want more info or express interest email
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann has branches all over the world and is very proud to welcome San Diego’s “Comhaltas Barry Cogan” branch to its community!
Comhaltas Barry Cogan is excited to share Irish culture with San Diego families by offering lessons in traditional Irish music, song, sean-nós dance, storytelling, and language. We have a excellent instructors including Máirtín de Cógáin, Pete Polansky, Judy Carlstrom, and Michael Prine Jr, offering beginning lessons for all ages in:
•       Bodhrán (Irish drum)
•       Fiddle
•       Concertina
•       Irish Songs & Ballads
•       Sean nós (“old style”) dance
•       MORE to come as our branch grows!

​ If you would like classes that are not currently being offered please reach out to us as we have teachers standing by.​

Classes are 30-minutes long and will run in 10-week sessions. Our first session begins February 15th, and will be held Thursday evenings from 5:30-8:00pm.
For more information, please find us online at:
Facebook:  @comhaltas.sandiego
Twitter:  @comhaltasSD

I’m working on songs for the bus tour

Here is a link to a YouTube channel I have set up with songs related to the bus tour of Ireland this May. We are going to Athlone, Roscommon, Mayo, Westport, Achill, Silgo, Donegal, Belfast, Meath, Malahide among other places, like. It’s a work in progress so check back often to see what’s new and if you have any suggestions please send me on a link to a youtube video to add to it. Click here to check it out.

From Cork with Love – the Limited edition reissue!

Just off the presses in time for the Joanie Madden Folk ‘n’ Irish Cruise we have issued a limited edition of the From Cork with Love CD & DVD in one beautiful package ‘The Double Take’. Check it out now and order your copy today by clicking here


I did a really cool gig with SDCOE

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The San Diego County Office of Education Visual and Performing Arts Dept. They are putting together an online professional development module to help teachers up and down all of California (and to be made available to the entire planet!) using world music to help teach empathy in the classroom. Would you believe it, a great friend of mine, Jonathan Parker, who is Schools Programs Director with the Center for World Music put me right in the middle of it! I am pretty stoked (I live in California now) about it. Here is a photo of me with a group of 3rd graders near Poway, California filming our part of the project.

That’s all I can think of for now. I hope you are well and staying warm! Talk to you again soon.