Singer, storyteller, actress and songwriter; Helena Byrne grew up in Ballyhale, county Kilkenny, in the south east of Ireland, a village well known for it’s phenomenal hurling players. But from a young age, it quickly became evident that Helena was not drawn to the field, but to the stage. With both parents coming from musical families, Helena grew up surrounded by music of all kinds, from Irish folk songs to blues, country and pop. Family gatherings would progress into sing-songs that often carried on til the wee hours of the night. There was nowhere that Helena felt more at home than when singing and performing. This remains true to this day.
As a young singer/songwriter, Helena quickly established herself in Ireland as a unique talent, playing as a support act for James Taylor, Katie Melua and Bob Geldof at the Source Festival, Kilkenny and Glenstall Abbey Sanctuary Concert alongside renowned Irish singers Moya Brennan and Cara O’Sullivan. She was a third place winner in the 2fm Young Songwriter’s Contest, Vicar’s Street, Dublin and performed as a ‘Lady of the Castle’ for Knappogue Castle Medieval Banquets. She performed as a session vocalist for both Rónán and Colm Ó Snodaigh, founding members of Irish group, Kíla and is fortunate to have worked with them on three of her studio albums.
“If you don’t get goosebumps when you hear her beautiful voice then you may need to consult a medical professional because chances are, you’re dead inside.” – Travel Ireland Magazine, March 2016
For the past ten years, Helena has combined her passion of music and singing with her love of Irish folklore, performing as a seanchaí (storyteller) and singer for audiences of all ages across Ireland and further afield. Akin to the travelling seanchaí of times past, Helena performs regularly across the Atlantic, and was honoured to perform for the Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Mulhall in Washington D.C. Helena interweaves tales of Irish folklore and history, with traditional Irish songs and wonderful insights into an Ireland of days gone by. She has also released four studio albums, the fourth of which was released on December 1st 2019.
“She is a gifted storyteller, performer & singer, bringing to life Irish folklore & culture interwoven with Traditional Irish songs. The audiences at the embassy, young & old alike, were very impressed with Ms. Byrne’s performances & storytelling.” – Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to the USA, December 2017