Dónal was born in 1975 and spent most of his early childhood in Canada and the U.S. before his family settled back in An Rinn, Co. Waterford, Ireland, in 1983. He started learning traditional Irish music on the tin whistle at age eight and received his first guitar shortly after, learning some basics from his father.
Inspired by Irish guitarists Arty McGlynn, Paul Brady and others, Dónal began practicing Irish tunes on the guitar and also started to play accompaniment to his many friends in the area who were playing Irish music. In addition to Irish music, he took a keen interest in a variety of acoustic guitar styles and was greatly influenced by early country blues recordings as well as such modern players as John Renbourn, Stefan Grossman, Archie Fisher, Duck Baker and Nic Jones.
In 1995 Dónal co-founded the group Danú, but departed soon after to tour with his father Liam and cousin Robbie Connell (Clancy, O'Connell & Clancy). In 1998, he moved to the U.S. and became involved in the Irish-American music scene playing mostly with The Eileen Ivers Band and later the group Solas.
In 2003, he re-joined his friends in Danú, with which group he still performs. Dónal also performs with Mike & Mary Rafferty & Willie Kelly, and The Clancy Legacy.
Dónal is married to Mary Rafferty and they have three children.
Source: Dónal Clancy's website