Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 19 September, 2021

A comprehensive look back at Crystal Swing and what they've been up to for the last eight years

Ahead of Derek’s papal blessing this weekend.

PastedImage-32402 Source: Crystal Swing Facebook

EARLIER THIS WEEK, it was reported that Derek Burke of Crystal Swing and his wife Claire McCauliffe are set to receive a special marital blessing from Pope Francis this weekend.

The newlyweds were due to head off on their honeymoon but reportedly postponed the trip when they, along with a number of other couples, were selected to receive a blessing from the big man himself.

If you’re like me, chances are you had a few thoughts when you read this news:

  1. The lad from Crystal Swing got married?

  2. The lad from Crystal Swing must have friends in high places.

  3. Remember Crystal Swing?

So what better time to revisit the dynamic trio and see what they have been up to over the past few years.

The beginning

Originally from Lisgoold, Co. Cork, Crystal Swing first hucklebucked their way into our hearts with their viral hit He Drinks Tequila. The video features siblings Dervla and Derek serenading each other with lines like, ‘You’re so naughty/Kiss my body/And call me pretty’ while their mother Mary concentrates on playing the keyboard behind them. It’s completely mad, but also weirdly earnest and sweet.

They quickly became a viral sensation and briefly caused war between Newstalk and RTE as both broadcasters jostled to get the family’s first performance. (I am not making this up.)

In the end, Crystal Swing opted to appear on The Late Late Show. Derek performed the huckle buck at Ryan Tubridy’s behest and the rest is, well, history.

Soon, Ellen DeGeneres herself picked up the video and broadcast it on the St. Patrick’s Day edition on her show. She later flew them over to appear on her show. There, they presented her with her own bottle of Jameson, extolled the virtues of Cork and performed their signature hit.

Source: Crystal Swing/YouTube

Around this time, mother Mary decided to step back from the band and devote her efforts to being a full-time momager. “They are wonderful children and I would die for them, but I feel I am quite capable of managing them,” she told the Irish Independent.


If you thought Crystal Swing were a flash in the pan, then you couldn’t have been more wrong. For the first half of 2010, they were everywhere. They launched Eircom’s Next Generation Broadband, they gabbed with Glenda Gilson on Xposé, they performed in Áras An Uachtaráin – it was Crystal Swing’s world and we were just living in it.

One time, The Star even published an interview with Dervla about being inundated with marriage proposals and headlined it, ‘Crystal Schwing!’

The glamour!

Television offers continued to come in thick and fast. Derek appeared on Celebrity Bainisteoir while Mary visited Wagons’ Den. The family even appeared on Livin’ With Lucy and Derek wound up bringing presenter Lucy Kennedy to his debs.

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 4.12.19 PM Source: Irish Independent


Here are some career highlights from the years that followed:


Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 5.15.11 PM Source: Irish Independent

  • They performed on a celebrity cruise with Daniel O’Donnell.
  • They performed at Dublin Pride, lol.
  • Dervla invited Daithi O Sé to her Debs, but he couldn’t make it due to the Rose of Tralee. (Don’t worry, she found a date.)


Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 5.07.09 PM Source: YouTube

  • Derek celebrated his 21st birthday and Richie Kavanagh performed at the party. He also received a cake to mark the occasion on The Craig Doyle Show.
  • Later, Derek was a contestant on Celebrity Mastermind and his specialist subject was The History of Ford and Fordson Tractors.


s-l640 Source: eBay

  • Crystal Swing release a single called Happy Days. As in, the Happy Days theme song.
  • Derek took hip-hop dancing lessons from the Dublin Rose.
  • The most momentous occasion of the year? The release of their greatest hits album, The Best of Crystal Swing. Ambitious title, you’ll give them that.



  • They released a cover of Livin’ La Vida Loca. Yes, the Ricky Martin one.
  • That’s it!


Source: Steve Bloor Media/YouTube

  • Mary went solo and released a single called Fool For Loving You.
  • Dervla married her long-term boyfriend and her brother escorted them to the church in a tractor. The wedding was filmed for and later broadcast on Stetson & Stilettos.


Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 2.45.07 PM

  • Mary published a biography called Mary’s Crystal Dreams.
  • Mary took credit for the success of YouTube in Ireland, insisting that the family helped “kickstart” the website here.
  • Dervla announced she was expecting her first child.
  • Derek got engaged.


PastedImage-61842 Source: RSVP Facebook


  • Mary emerged as an outspoken supporter of the No side in the recent referendum and even appeared in a debate on TV3′s The Tonight Show. (?!?!)
  • Dervla had her second child, a baby girl.
  • Derek married his long-term girlfriend and is now meeting Pope Francis.

So there you go. From Ellen Degeneres to Pope Francis. What an improbable rollercoaster, huh? Now give me some tequila.

DailyEdge is on Instagram!

About the author:

Amy O'Connor

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel