Newstalk
Newstalk

17.45 30 Jan 2019


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Two new statues of musician Luke Kelly have been unveiled in Dublin.

Today's unveilings came on the 35th anniversary of the death of The Dubliners singer.

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina were in attendance for both events today.

A life-size bronze sculpture on the Southside shows Luke sitting and playing a banjo.

Unveiling the South King Street statue, President Higgins said: "Like so many gathered here today, Sabina and I feel so greatly privileged to have been able to call ourselves friends of Luke Kelly.

"[He's] a man whose singular talent lives on, not only in the rich legacy of songs and performances that continue to be enjoyed by new generations, but also in the echoes and rhythms discernible in the music of those for whom he remains an inspiration and such a great role model."

President Michael D Higgins with his wife Sabina at the launch of John Coll’s sculpture on South King Street as Dublin City honours music legend Luke Kelly. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

On the Northside, meanwhile, a giant marble head that won a competition in 2014 takes up residence on Guild Street, near the Convention Centre.

That statue was crafted by artist Vera Klute.

Family friend Des Geraghty said it's fitting there are two statues.

He explained: "One is on the Northside where Luke came from. It's right in the heart of the financial services area, but also an area where we have a lot of working class people - poor over the years, and struggling for an existence.

"But [there's also one] on the other side of the city, where Luke would actually have frequented... among the watering holes close to Grafton Street. He busked, he played, and was well known around that area."

John Sheahan, who performed alongside Luke Kelly in The Dubliners, as well as other musicians such as Glen Hansard and Damien Dempsey will take part in a special night of music in honour of Luke at Liberty Hall tonight.


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