GI: Alec, how did you come to be in De Dannan? AF: Well, when I moved back to Ireland I used to play the blues on the guitar, in Dublin. I went to listen to the music over there. I eventually moved on to Galway, which is in the West. At the time it wasn't a place where you could hear blues. It's all traditional music; and I got a present of a bouzouki from Greece (by mistake it was, actually - I asked a friend of mine to bring back one of those "lautels" back from Crete. It's a type of Grecian lute, a crude form of the European lute - beautiful thing, bigger. And I was always fascinated by lutes: I thought lutes were beautiful things, still do). He brought me back a bouzouki by mistake, which I had in Spiddal (in Galway). The only music you could get into if you wanted to play was the local music. So I started playing Irish music. GI: Did you know Johnny Moynihan, then? AF: Yes, I got into it about the same time - in the same year he got his, I would imagine, if not the year after. But we play completely different styles anyway. GI: I mention it because everybody credits him with introducing the bouzouki into Irish music. AF: Well, he did. He was the first person, I think him and Andy Irvine. GI: Andy had that Portuguese Guitar, didn't he? AF: He was playing Gibson mandolin when I first saw him. The Portuguese Guitar was much later, I think. So I started playing Irish music on the bouzouki, not the guitar. The only reason I'm playing guitar now with the group is because we always have a singer and it's necessary to accompany. A bouzouki is not really strong enough, it's a lightweight sound.
(Interview fragment used with author's permission.)