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Lasting Tribute page for RONNIE DREW
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Legendary folk singer and musician Ronnie Drew, founder member of the Dubliners, died on 16 August, 2008, aged 73.Taoiseach Brian Cowen led the tributes, and said that Mr Drew would be remembered across the globe for his music.He said: "Ronnie Drew was an iconic figure in Irish music over the last five decades.."I met him and admired his music, his unique singing voice was loved by so many people."Ronnie, whether as part of The Dubliners or during his solo career, will also be remembered for his promotion of Irish music both at home and around the world."He bore his illness with bravery and will be sadly missed."Mr Drew had been ill for some time and died in a Dublin hospital. Cancer specialist Professor John Crown, who treated him, said he bore his final illness with great courage and dignity."He was a great source of humour and good cheer to other patients on the unit," Prof Crown said.Con Kavanagh, barman at O'Donoghues in Dublin, where The Dubliners started out, said everybody was talking about Drew.He told the BBC: "When you mention Dublin, you mention Ronnie Drew - the two just went together. Everybody loved him."His colleagues in the music world also paid tribute to him. Fellow Dubliner John Sheahan, who worked with Mr Drew for 46 years, told RTE radio thatwhilehe had a gruff exterior, behind it was a very caring and sensitive man."He was an absolutely unique character, a one-off. He had a wonderful sense of humour, very sharp wit, a great man to put down a heckler in the audience. It's been a privilege and a great pleasure to work with the man over all those years," said Mr Sheahan.Bono paid his own special tribute to Ronnie Drew on the band's website."Ronnie has left his earthly tour for one of the heavens... they need him up there... it's a little too quiet and pious," wrote the U2 frontman."God is lonely for a voice louder than His own."Weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs... that's what I loved about Ronnie Drew's voice and spirit. Music to inspire, to console... an optimism that was contagious... that's what U2 took from The Dubliners."He was survived by his two children and five grandchildren. His wife of more than 40 years, Deirdre, died last year. The couple had lived in County Wicklow.Mr Drew's family said he passed away peacefully while they were at his bedside.In a statement they said: "The family are very grateful for all the letters of support and wishes during the term of Ronnie's illness.”In 1962, he founded the Ronnie Drew Group, which was later known as The Dubliners. They would become one of the best known Irish folks groups. Mr Drew was a member from 1962-1974 and again from 1979-1995.From 1995 he pursued a solo career, recording with artists, including Christy Moore, The Pogues, Antonio Breschi, the Dropkick Murphys and Eleanor ShanleyHe will be best remembered for his rabble-rousing folk songs Finnegan's Wake and Dicey Reilly.He was the singer on one of the band's biggest hits, Seven Drunken Nights, and appeared on the Top of the Pops. They appeared again with Shane McGowan and the Pogues, to perform The Irish Rover.
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Published in: Online.
Published from: August 16, 2008.
Region: National
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My family come from Greystones - first the Burnaby Estate and then at The Haven in Church Road. I did not know Dierdre and Ronnie that well personally but my sister Ann Evans and Dierdre were 'best friends' and were always popping round to each others house. Dierdre attended the funeral of dear Ann when she died of leukemia in 1990. My eldest Daughter has just told me about the deaths of these 2 lovely people and Yes - they will be sadly missed.
Left by Rosemary Smith: 07/01/2009
Ronnie was a truly 'one off'.His voice was one I will never forget.I have been fortunate to see him (and the rest of the band) on a couple of occasions.I am so glad I did.Rest in Peace Ronnie with the other members of the band that are sadly no longer with us
Left by Roy Sumner: 23/12/2008
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