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Cliona Hagan - Staycations, Irish Country Music and Dancing with the Stars Chat

  • 3 min read

This week we're sitting down with Irish country-music star and Dancing with the Stars finalist, Cliona Hagan. Philomena Begley said back in 2015 that Cliona was one to watch, and she was absolutely spot on. Since then, Cliona has supported huge names in the Irish country music world including Mike Denver and Nathan Carter. She was even asked to join them on tours across Europe. She also made it to the finals of Dancing with the Stars with her dance partner Robert Rowinski. We catch up with Cliona who has had a whirlwind few years in her career to get her thoughts on the 'new normal' for country music.

Q. First off, have you been on any Irish staycations this year? How did you get on?

A. Yes I stayed in Dingle Co. Kerry and I went camping for the first time ever! I’ve always wanted to camp and I absolutely loved it. The weather was beautiful and Dingle is such a gorgeous place to visit I highly recommend it for an Irish staycation!

Q. What inspired you to get into country music?

A. As a young girl I remember always listening to Garth Brooks, The Dixie Chicks and Dolly Parton, so I guess growing up country music always resonated with me. I recall watching Beverly Hillbillies and I’ll never forget Dolly Parton’s scene where she came out in a beautiful outfit and sang. I remember thinking to myself ‘I want to be like her when I grow up’

Q. Who is your favourite singer/ act?

A.Favourite singer would have to be either Dolly Parton or Shania Twain. When I was in primary school we had a talent showcase and it was the first time I ever got up on stage and I sang ‘That Don’t impress Me Much’ by Shania Twain.

Q. What is your favourite song of all time to perform?

A.Favourite song of all time to sing for me would have to be the very first song I wrote called ‘Thank you Mother’ which was obviously dedicated to my mum. It brings me such happiness to sing a song very personal to me.

Q. What do you miss most about gigging?

A.I miss chatting to everyone who comes to watch our shows and I miss the feeling of being on stage doing what I love to do most - Sing!

Q. What was your favourite memory of doing ‘Dancing with the Stars’?

A.My favourite memory of Dancing with the Stars would have to be the friendship with my professional dancing partner Robert Rowinski and I developed. I just remember we had so many laughs and we were so happy to make it to the final.

Q. Favourite city you have performed in?

A.I love Nashville and was delighted to get to perform in a city where the greats of country music sang.

Q. What’s next for Cliona Hagan?

A.I always have been open to new opportunities that doesn’t just pertain to music so there are quite a few things coming very soon which I’m excited about.

Q. Lastly, what do you think the future of the music industry here in Ireland looks like, given the current pandemic?


A.I think that it is very uncertain times for music industry as we are reliant on crowds. But I’m an eternal optimist so please god it will be back soon.