Irish musician Ronnie Drew of The Dubliners dies at 73

August 17th, 2008 - 4:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Dublin, Aug 17 (DPA) Irish singer Ronnie Drew of the traditional music band The Dubliners has died at the age of 73 in Dublin after a long illness, national broadcaster RTE reported. Drew’s son Phelim said his father passed away peacefully Saturday afternoon in St. Vincent’s private hospital in the Irish capital.

“Ronnie Drew was an iconic figure in Irish music over the last five decades. I met him, and admired his music, his unique singing voice was loved by so many people,” Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said in a statement.

“Ronnie, whether as part of The Dubliners, or during his solo career, will also be remembered for his promotion of Irish music both at home and around the world. He bore his illness with bravery and will be sadly missed,” Cowen said.

Irish President Mary McAleese said Drew was “a champion of traditional Irish music” who “re-energised and refreshened our unique musical heritage.”

Gravel-voiced Drew was a founding member of the folk band in the early 1960s. They toured extensively and had hits with songs such as “Seven Drunken Nights”.

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