18 August 2008: Arts Council saddened by death of Ronnie Drew

The Arts Council has expressed its sadness at the passing of musician Ronnie Drew, who died at the weekend.

Arts Council Chair, Olive Braiden, paid tribute to Mr Drew: "Ronnie Drew played a pivotal role in re-energising traditional Irish music from the 1960s onwards. The country will feel the loss deeply.

The Head of Traditional Arts at the Arts Council, Paul Flynn, said Ronnie Drew and The Dubliners were the catalyst for the revival of Irish traditional music.

"In the 1960s, when traditional music was at an all-time low, Ronnie Drew and The Dubliners were central in reclaiming it and making it popular with new generations. He was also instrumental in bringing the music to prominence overseas."

"In particular, Ronnie Drew played a key role in the revival of the ballad tradition, and he brought this genre to new audiences, especially with his collaboration with The Pogues in the 1980s," Mr Flynn said.

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

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