Eoghan Heaslip: The Irish worship leader speaks about his music and songs

Tuesday 1st May 2001

EOGHAN HEASLIP answers some of Mike Rimmer's questions.

Eoghan Heaslip
Eoghan Heaslip

Mike: What is your background?

Eoghan: As a child I grew up in Dublin city. When I was 10 my dad was ordained in the Church Of Ireland so we moved right the way across to the west coast of Ireland to a place called Mayo, so I became a vicar's son. I lived there until I was around 17 when I came back to Dublin to go to college. I'll go places and hear the stories of the rebellious vicars' kids and all the different stuff they get into. I don't know how much I fall into that category. I guess my parents will be able to answer that question. I didn't particularly dislike being a vicar's kid. Dad was a secondary school teacher before that.

Mike: Tell me about becoming a Christian.

Eoghan: I really made a personal commitment to the Lord when I was about 17 when I came to go to college in Dublin. That's the church I work at now. The September I came to go to college, my pastor Willie Stewart and his wife Ruth had just moved to Dublin from an area just outside Dublin called Kildare to plant what is now City Outreach through Renewal and Evangelism (CORE). They were looking for a lodger and I was looking for a home. The way Willie and Ruth did church, I really hadn't seen that before, apart from a couple of meetings and a conference called Summer Madness. An American intern at our church started to disciple me, to mentor me and meet with me anything up to three times a week, just filling me with all of the things he had received and the things he wanted to pass on. He really influenced me. An amazing person and we're really close friends. At that time I was a drummer. I was going to college to go to Music College. I was a professional musician playing session drums. I did some TV work for a brief time and I did some touring with some bands and some recording. I was not coming to Dublin with the plans of going the way I've gone. I definitely wanted to be in a rock'n'roll band!

Mike: It's amazing that you've only been writing songs for a year.

Eoghan: A lot of the songs on 'Deeper Still' are quite new and a lot of them have changed because we're really changing as a church right now. You really do try the best you can to reflect what the Lord is speaking to the leadership as well. As well as being up in front and leading the worship, I'm spending days planning staff team meetings and hearing why the preachers are preaching what they are, what the ministry team are feeling when they're praying for people, what issues are coming up. You're talking to the pastor overseeing the home groups and getting a sense about where people are really at and the issues they're dealing with. All of a sudden you feel we need to be singing about something else. Not to put words in their mouth but we need to be using our own words. Expressing ourselves where we're at. I think on the album there are songs that I've written for us as a church and for where we're at in Dublin and what our heart is and then I think there are some very more personal and intimate songs that are really directed to where I'm at. Some of those songs have become a real heart cry for the church as it's worked out.

Mike: You've titled the album 'Deeper Still'. Tell me about writing that song.

Eoghan: The reason I wrote the song and a lot of the songs on the album is that often I have a longing in my heart and I don't have a song that someone else has written that expresses it the way I want to say it to the Lord. That's why I started songwriting about a year ago but in this particular case, I just wanted to say, "Lord, take me deeper still. I haven't got enough of you. I'm desperate for more." CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
About Mike Rimmer
Mike RimmerMike Rimmer is a broadcaster and journalist based in Birmingham.


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