2009 – Death of actor and folk singer, Liam Clancy, from Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

‘The best ballad singer I ever heard in my life’ was Bob Dylan’s verdict on Liam Clancy, who died at age 74 on this date. He was the last remaining member of the best-known of all Irish folk groups, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, who made an impression that was strong enough for them to break through into the mainstream. The popularity of the quartet, comprising Liam, his older brothers Tom and Pat and family friend Tommy, was unrivalled in the 1960s, especially in the US, where the four men had settled. With their hard-living, hard-drinking image, singing Irish folk songs in a hearty and rousing style, the Aran jumper-clad Clancys inspired Irish bands of all musical genres. Among those who have claimed an influence are Sinéad O’Connor, the Pogues, and the Dubliners.

Clancy originally immigrated to the US to become an actor, but instead he began performing in…

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