A founder-member of Boys of The Lough, along with Robin Morton and Tommy Gunn, Cathal is one of the best flute and whistle players in the Irish tradition and a greatly respected singer. His naturally relaxed and friendly stage presence endears him to audiences everywhere.
Hailing from County Fermanagh, an area rich in musicians, Cathal can trace the flute back through four generations in his family. By the time he was eleven years old he was playing the whistle, encouraged by his father and local teacher Peter Flannagan. At fifteen he took up the flute and in 1962, aged eighteen, became the all-Ireland champion on both instruments. Five years later he was touring with the newly formed Boys of the Lough.
Cathal holds in high regard the musicians of his own county such as John Joe McGuire, Eddie Duffy and Mick Hoy, and their influence can be detected in his playing. A recent television documentary highlighted these connections. His extensive repertoire of song embraces long ballads and serious pieces as well as some of the more humorous items, often preceded by introductions of mirthful complexity. A real enthusiast, possessing great kindness and humanity, Cathal always has the time of day to explain and demonstrate the music to others.