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22 May 1950, Limerick, Eire. Educated at University College, Dublin, Whelan studied music and wrote the score for the film Bloomfield aka The Hero (1970). He played keyboards in pit bands for touring musical shows, and in the late 70s worked with the Waterboys, Stacc, and Planxty. From the late 70s, Whelan composed for television and arranged for the theatre, including an adaptation of Gilbert And Sullivans HMS Pinafore, which was successfully staged at Londons Old Vic Theatre. In collaboration with Donal Lunny in 1981 he composed Timedance, which was played by Planxty midway through the Eurovision Song Contest. In the 80s he continued composing music, such as the score for Lamb (1984, with Van Morrison), and 1987s The ORiada Suite (1987). In the late 80s Whelan was composer-in-residence at Dublins Abbey Theatre. In the early 90s he wrote arrangements for Andy Irvines Rude Awakening.