The Dubliners is one of the most popular Irish bands in the world. Famous for their traditional Irish folk music, the Dubliners have recorded, and are still recording, many albums that have been snapped up all over the world. Violin, bodhràn, guitar and Irish flute are there for you! What’s up? Feel like a little trad tune? Let’s go for it!
The Dubliners were founded in 1962 in Dublin, Ireland. At that time, the group consisted of 4 main members including :
They used to play together at O’Donoghue’s Pub in Dublin. Initially, the first name of the band was “The Ronnie Drew Group”, much to the chagrin of Ronnie Drew, who didn’t like the name at all. The name “The Dubliners” was then adopted, the band playing mainly in Dublin (Note that Luke Kelly was reading James Joyce’s novel “The Dubliners” at the time, which confirmed his belief that the band should be called “The Dubliners”).
Over the years, the Dubliners have become THE reference group in Irish folk music. They spent the late 60’s and early 70’s touring Europe and the United States.
It was then in 1974 that a tragic accident occurred for the band. While they were in the middle of a concert, Ciaran Bourke collapsed on stage due to a cerebral haemorrhage. His recovery was long and difficult, and was followed by another stroke a few years later. The stroke paralyzed his left side of his body, preventing him from joining the rest of the band on tour. He died in 1988, much to the sorrow of his comrades.
But this misfortune did not happen alone, and it was in 1980 that Luke Kelly was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The violence of the disease and treatment prevented him from playing with the rest of the band, and the Dubliners asked Sean Cannon to replace him. However, Kelly insisted on performing with the band despite his condition. He died in 1983.
The years that followed were quite significant for the band, as many great songs were released and made the Dubliners successful. Among them, the most notable was “The Wild Rover”, a song recorded in collaboration with the Pogues.
From 1980 to the present day, the Dubliners are still playing and touring the world, with a host of great traditional Irish songs known the world over.
On August 16, 2008, Ronnie Drew died of cancer at the age of 73. In Ireland and everywhere else, the public mourned this tragic loss, and Mary McAleese and Bertie Ahern (then Taoiseach) paid tribute to him, as did many musicians (including U2, the Corrs, and the Pogues…).