Michael Rooney is a prolific composer and is widely regarded as one of the foremost players of the traditional Irish harp.

Michael was awarded the TG4 Composer of the Year in 2017.

Michael has just completed work on ‘The Famine Suite’ for Imbolc Derry (Feb 2019) and is currently working on ‘The Markievicz Suite’, commissioned by The Hawks Well Sligo & UCD (Autumn/Winter 2019).

Originally from Scotstown, Co. Monaghan and now a long time resident of County Sligo, Michael has composed eleven suites of music in the past 20 years, including The Famine Suite (2019), The Macalla Suite (2016), Boróimhe Suite (2014), The Second Coming (2014), De Cuellar Suite (2011) and Battle of the Books Suite (2007).

In May 2015, Michael was commissioned to write music and perform on the occasion of Prince Charles’ visit to Sligo. His music features on ‘The Queen's Speech’, RTÉ's documentary of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Ireland.

An album of ‘The Macalla Suite’ was released in December 2016, performed by The Macalla Orchestra and recorded Live in Monaghan. He has recorded two CDs with flute player June McCormack; 'Draíocht'  and 'Land's End'. Michael has published four books of his own compositions; 'Harp Tunes' (2006), Aifreann Gaeilge (2012),  'The de Cuéllar Suite' (2012), ‘The Macalla Suite’ (2016).


Compositions by Michael Rooney

  1. ‘The Famine Suite’ for Imbolc, Derry (2019)

  2. 'Spirit of Laois Suite' for the Music Generation Laois Harp Orchestra (2017)

  3. 'The Macalla Suite’ - Easter 1916 Centenary (2016)

  4. 'Reconciliation' - For the official visit to Sligo of TRH,The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (2015)

  5. ‘The Second Coming’ - Music for an aerial dance spectacular performed by a Traditional Quartet. The show was commissioned by Hawks Well, Sligo and travelled to Celtic Connections, Glasgow and toured Germany (2014)

  6. ‘Boróimhe’ - Commemorating the 1000-year anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf (2014).

  7. 'The De Cuellar Suite' - A collaboration of Irish Traditional, Galician Traditional and Classical musicians based on the Spanish Armada and the writings of Francisco De Cuellar (2011)

  8. ‘The Battle of the Books’ - A Suite remembering the epic battle between St. Colmcille and St. Finian in Sligo. (2006)

  9. ‘Aifreann Gaeilge 2’ - Commissioned for the Corofin Traditional Music Festival. (2006)

  10. 'The Millennium Suite' - A suite composed for the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Enniscorthy in 2000.

  11. 'The Famine Suite' – A suite commemorating the great famine. (1997)

  12. 'Aifreann Gaeilge ' - 4 part Aifreann Gaeilge commissioned for National Choral Festival (1996)