#OTD in 1934 – Singer, guitarist and founder of the Dubliners, Ronnie Drew, is born in Dublin.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. Ronnie Drew was born in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. He was best known for his long beard and his voice, which was once described by Nathan Joseph as “like the sound of coke being crushed under a door”. For more than 30 years, the distinctive voice of the […]

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#OTD in 2002 – Death of Bobby Clancy of the Clancy Brothers.

Bobby Clancy was a singer and musician best known as a member of The Clancy Brothers, one of the most successful and influential Irish folk groups. He accompanied his songs on five-string banjo, guitar, bodhrán, and harmonica. Bobby Clancy was born in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, to Robert J. Clancy and Johanna McGrath. He was the […]

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#OTD in 1935 – Birth of Liam Clancy, of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem fame.

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem shot to fame after appearing with his brothers on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1961. Scheduled to perform two songs, they were forced to extend their appearance when the show’s headliner cancelled. The following year they sold out audiences. After the Clancy brothers stopped touring / broke up, Liam […]

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#OTD in 1830 – The “Wild Colonial Boy” is shot dead in a gun battle with police at Cambelltown, Sydney.

On this date in 1830, The “Wild Colonial Boy” is shot dead in a gun battle with police at Cambelltown, Sydney. Contrary to the popular song, “The Wild Colonial Boy” was John Donohue, transported from Ireland in 1824. This version was outlawed as seditious, so the name in the song was changed to Jack Doolan. […]

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#OTD in 2008 – Death of singer and folk musician, Ronnie Drew.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. Ronnie Drew was born in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. He was best known for his long beard and his voice, which was once described by Nathan Joseph as “like the sound of coke being crushed under a door”. For more than 30 years, the distinctive voice of the […]

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The Uilleann Pipes

The importance of piping during the years of the Irish chieftains is evident in the 9th century representation of a piper on the great stone High Cross of Clanmacnoise in Co Offaly. This seat of Irish culture in Clanmacnoise fostered the great ancient school there which at its height involved six to seven thousand students. […]

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#OTD in 1798 – Execution of John Kelly, also known as ‘Kelly of Killane’.

John Kelly lived in Killanne in the parish of Rathnure and was a leader who fought in the United Irishmen Rebellion of 1798. While Kelly was obviously well-known to rebels and loyalists alike during the short duration of the Wexford rising, almost nothing is known of him outside this time. He was one of the […]

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#OTD in 1957 – Birth of singer, songwriter and guitarist, Philip Chevron, in Dublin.

Philip Chevron was most widely known as guitarist for the Shane MacGowan led punk/folk rock band, The Pogues. He grew up in Santry, a suburb of Dublin. He was regarded as one of the most influential figures in Irish punk music. His most evocative Pogues work is ‘Thousands are Sailing’ which he wrote shortly after […]

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#OTD in 1939 – Birth of musician and composer, John Sheahan, who was a member of the The Dubliners.

John Sheahan was the quiet one in The Dubliners. In that cast of beardy and hairy rogues and rascals, Sheahan stood out by not standing out. Brought in to stand shoulder to shoulder with founder members Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew, Barney McKenna and Ciarán Bourke, Sheahan’s playing brought a touch of elegant class to that […]

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#OTD in 1961 – Enya (Eithne Ní Bhraonáin) is born in Gweedore, Co Donegal.

Enya began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad before leaving to perform solo. Enya is a four-time Grammy Award-winning singer, an Academy Award-nominated songwriter, and Ireland’s best-selling solo artist (her record sales stand at 80 million as of 2009). As a musical group, Enya is a collaboration between […]

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