A BAND with strong North Clare connections have been shortlisted for the biggest prize in Irish music.

The Heathers, which features twin sisters Louise and Ellie McNamara, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Meteor Choice Music Prize –  which carries with it a single first-prize of €10,000.

The pair will be familiar to many from their 2008 song ‘Remember When’, which has been used extensively by Fáilte Ireland as part of a major advertising campaign.

The girl’s father comes from Ennistymon and Ellie and Louise have taken much from their Clare musical heritage.

“Our dad is from Ennistymon and we have a load of cousins living in Ennis. We’ve been going down to Ennistymon ever since we were born basically. We have a house down there. It’s a really nice place and we love going there,” said Ellie.

“The music in North Clare has always been an influence. We’ve grown up listening to Sharon Shannon and people like that. Whenever we would go down to County Clare, there would always be a huge family gathering with people singing and playing music and that has been an influence. So the place has been very instrumental for us.”

The Heathers have been nominated for their album Kingdom for the prestigious accolade of Irish Album of the Year.

They face a difficult competition as they are up against three previous winners of the competition in Julie Feeney, Two Door Cinema Club and Adrian Crowley, as well as big names such as Delorentos and Damien Dempsey.

The live final of this year’s Choice Meteor Music Prize will take place in Vicar Street in Dublin on Thursday March 7.

For more see The Clare People or visit our Digital Edition.

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