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Gallagher statue for Ballyshannon - RTE to show Arts Live documentary
A bronze statue to honour the late Irish guitar legend Rory Gallagher is to be unveiled in Ballyshannon, the town of his birth on June 2, to launch the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 28 May 2010
A week later, on Thursday June 10, RTÉ 1 will screen Ghost Blues, a documentary about the life of Rory, as part of their Arts Lives slot. The events are timed to coincide with the fifteenth anniversary of the Irish guitar hero's death on June 14, 1995.
The momentous Ballyshannon occasion will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday June 2 in the town’s Main Street, and will be attended by Rory’s brother Donal, the Mayor of Ballyshannon Councillor Eugene Dolan and, Councillor Dara Murphy, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Rory's adopted home. The statue was designed and sculpted by David Annand.
The unveiling will serve as an emotional prelude to the annual Ballyshannon Rory Gallagher tribute festival, with this year’s bill including Bernie Marsden, Dave Levy, Rich Newman and Jim Kirkpatrick at the Rory Gallagher Theatre on Saturday June 5. Also appearing on the festival bill are the highly rated Dutch based band Wolfpin, who took the festival by storm last year, and Norwegian Monica Heldal.
"Rory was one of the true heroes of Irish rock," Hot Press editor Niall Stokes reflects. "He was a magnificent guitar player, a brilliant songwriter and a performer of enormous dedication, energy and magnetism. But for all the remarkable success he achieved, Rory never lost touch with his roots. He was true to himself, true to his music and true to the people, with whom he shared an extraordinary kinship. If there is a higher compliment I don't know what it is.
"For all of these reasons, it is wonderful to see that his memory is being honoured in this way in Ballyshannon. It is, you might say, the least we can do. But it is no less important for that, as Rory will always retain a special place in the hearts of Irish music fans – and of fans of great music the world over."
The film Ghost Blues was directed by Ian Thullier, who also directed the recent successful documentary on Gavin Friday, which achieved remarkably high viewership figures. Ghost Blues will also be released by Eagle Rock on DVD, in an extended form.