Kneecap sign record deal, dedicate it to Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí

Kneecap have signed to Heavenly Recordings. Picture Mal McCann


WEST Belfast as Gaeilge rappers Kneecap have signed a record deal, dedicating the momentous moment to their long-time supporter Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí.

Last night, the band shared the news of the deal with London-based Heavenly Recordings on social media in the form of a video clip.

"Finally, a record label has been mad enough to sign us - a west Belfast group who rap in Irish - no c*** speaks it," says band member Mo Chara.

"I wanna say congratulations to Heavenly Records. Finally, we can clear all our debts." 

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Kneecap unveiled a new mural in Hawthorn Street in west Belfast ahead of their Feile an Phobail concert earlier this year. Picture Mal McCann

Móglaí Bap, Mo Chara and DJ Próvaí included footage of them toasting the deal with Champagne and signing their recording contract with quills.

Founded by Jeff Barrett, Heavenly is also home to Belfast DJ, producer and composer David Holmes.

In the Tweet announcing the deal, the trio thanked Barrett and made a dedication to the man who gave the band their first ever gig, Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí, the Raidió na Gaeltachta broadcaster who died on Tuesday.

They wrote: "Big thanks to Jeff Barrett and all the team at Heavenly. Suaimhneas síoraí dár gcara mór Rónán Mac Aodh Bhuí xxxx"

Earlier this year, Kneecap used social media to raise funds to help Rónán receive cancer treatment abroad.

A bilingual post made in February on the band's Facebook page read: "A very good friend of ours , Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí is sick, and we are helping to raise funds for him.


The late Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí (RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta/PA)


"He always believed in us, regardless of the amount of s*** people got for it at the start. He wanted to play CEARTA on his show on RNAG, which subsequently got the song banned which gave us publicity we could never dream of, he was always takin chances in things he believed in.

"And he believed strongly in the survival of our language and the need for contemporary Irish language music. It was Rónán who gave us our first gig in Gaoth Dobhair, a gig that would really cement the rest of our musical journey.

"Kneecap is a result of the endless gigs and radio shows put on around the country to try and create a buzz around contemporary Irish Lang music. A genuine passionate man that we owe a lot too and have a lot of love for."

The debut Kneecap album will be released in 2024, and the band are set to perform at the Ulster Hall in Belfast on December 21 this year.