The Bards I heard consisted of Martin McElhone, Tony Hegarty, Jimmy McArdle, and John Nesbitt. I would say they're the same band NoMattch was referring to, although I don't know anything about a second Mr. McElhone. My sister had heard them at Matt Kane's in Washington, D.C., and was excited when she saw they were playing at The Irish Brigade in Kansas City in the late 70's. I remember their saying that they had been doing rock and roll at some time but came back to folk music because it meant more to them.
I have no clue as to whether this might be the same group mariner mentioned.