top of page

Ciarán McNally

Luthier - Armagh, Co. Down

Scroll Down to Learn More

Ciaran McNally: Home

About Ciaran McNally


Introducing renowned Irish guitar maker Ciarán McNally from Armagh. Ciaran studied instrument making in the Lagan Lutherie school in Belfast through their evening and intensive apprentice courses, and then received a Diploma in Musical Instruments in the London Met College of Furniture. He then worked in George Lowden guitars as a senior crafstman and in Atkin Guitars as a production manager, before setting up his own workshop and guitar making company.


Ciaran's guitars are a fusion of Celtic and American traditions in guitar making. This comes through in the American inspired body shapes, with Celtic aesthetic decoration and a tone comprising the warmth and sustain of Celtic guitars, as well as the strong fundamental presence and clarity of American guitars, making for a uniquely versatile sound.


Having worked for these renowned and established guitar companies Ciaran already had an inside view into the industry and was acutely aware of how difficult it can be to make instrument making a viable business. Ciaran knew the time had to be right, the guitars had to be right, and he felt he had to be fully confident in his skill’s not just as a guitar maker, but as a business manager and a salesman. He realized he couldn’t sell guitars that he doesn't believe in personally, which he says, led him to stop following/copying trends in guitar making and have confidence in his own judgement of what makes a McNally Guitar. 

In his own words, "There are no smoke and mirrors or magical ethereal methods being used, and I’m not romantically attached to any particular method. I use a mixture of traditional and modern techniques. I simply choose the method that gives me the best result. My focus is not to be a ‘traditional’ or ‘modern’ guitar maker, only to make the best guitars I’m capable of.” His goal is to make guitars that inspire music and musicians.

The Island of Music is happy to have Ciaran on-board to join our all-Ireland initiative to nurture, sell and promote the creations of Ireland's best talents in instrument making and music. In October 2020 we will start selling Ciaran's "Foundation" series guitars available from the Island of Music shop.

Workshop Tour & Interview

CiaranMcNally: Bio
McNally OM Adirondack/Honduran Rosewood - The Golden Era Guitar

McNally OM Adirondack/Honduran Rosewood - The Golden Era Guitar

McNally OM Adirondack/Honduran Rosewood - The Golden Era Guitar

New McNally Model S Clip#1 - Played by David Chun

New McNally Baritone OMC Clip#1 - Played by David Chun

McNally OM Cedar Walnut played by Erwin van Ligten | Demo @ The Fellowship of Acoustics

CiaranMcNally: Videos

McNally Guitars

Gallery of  OM,  J, and P Series Guitars