Today, I found out that the last of the founding members of The Dubliners, and thereby the one who has been with the group the longest, has passed away. The Dubliners are probably my favourite Irish folk band, and they’re legendary. They were back again this year, for the 50th Anniversary Tour in March, and I was really torn, because I really wanted to go and see them, and on the other hand, we saw them the year before, and we also had other plans for that evening. So we didn’t end up going.
Last year, the opportunity to see them presented itself (“The Dubliners? In Nottingham? For real? That’s it, I’m getting tickets!”) and I didn’t just want to see them because they’re the freakin’ Dubliners, but because they aren’t getting any younger, and you never know if you’re going to have the chance to see them again.
Barney McKenna passed away yesterday, aged 72.
He suffered several health problems in the last few years, but his death was still sudden. He passed away peacefully at his home in Howth, County Dublin. (See Irish Times orfor more details.)
Known both for his wit as well as his banjo playing, he will be sorely missed by fans of both The Dubliners and of Irish folk music in general, no doubt. My condolences to his family, friends and to the rest of the band. To Barney – thank you for the music and for all the joy you’ve brought us all over the years. Through that, you will live on amongst us mortals.
If I believed in the concept of heaven (and hell), I’d say there’s a lot more craic up there now, with the whole band assembled. Keep that music flowing – you truly were men we don’t meet every day.