The Boys of the Lough is a Scottish-Irish Celtic music band active since the 1970s.Their first album, called Boys of the Lough (1972) consisted of Aly Bain (born 15.5.1946, in Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland) (fiddle), Cathal McConnell (born 8.6.1944, in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland) (flute), Dick Gaughan (born Richard Peter Gaughan, 17.5.1948, in Rutherglen, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland) vocals and guitar) and Robin Morton (born 24.12.1939, in Portadown, Co Armagh, Northern Ireland) (flute).
Since the 1960s the Forrest Hill Bar in Edinburgh had been a centre for folk singers and instrumentalists. In the pub, always nicknamed "Sandy Bell's" and now formally called that, fiddler Aly Bain played along with guitarist Mike Whellans and singer Dick Gaughan in sessions. Aly Bain was from the Shetland Islands, and steeped in the Shetland style of playing. Meanwhile in Ireland, Cathal McConnell was an All-Ireland champion in both flute and whistle. He was from a family of flute players in County Fermanagh in Ireland. Cathal's musical collaborators were Tommy Gunn and Robin Morton. The two halves met at Falkirk folk festival in Scotland, and formed Boys of the Lough.
Gaughan left to pursue a solo career and Dave Richardson (born David Richardson, 20.8.1948, in Corbridge, Northumberland) (mandolin) joined.
This line-up (without Gaughan) was constant for the next six albums. Dave Richardson was also a writer of new material. They played ensemble instrumentals and the occasional song, equally divided between traditional sources from Ireland and Scotland.