02 August 2007: Arts Council regrets the passing of Tommy Makem

The Arts Council has expressed its regret at the passing of folk singer Tommy Makem who has died at his home in New Hampshire in the US.

Speaking of the loss, Arts Director, Stephanie O’Callaghan said:

“The death of Tommy Makem is a huge loss for Irish music. He was one of the most influential and talented folk musicians this country has produced. He transported a unique style of music across the world and fostered a love of it in many hearts. He will be greatly missed.”

The singer, who was born in Kealy, Co. Armagh, had a career which spanned several decades and saw huge success on both sides of the Atlantic.

The son of famous folk singer Sarah Makem, he moved to the US in 1955 where he teamed up with the Clancy Brothers. The band signed with Columbia Records and played sell-out concerts in venues such as Carnegie Hall before Tommy left to pursue a solo career.

He later joined with Liam Clancy once again to form Makem and Clancy releasing several highly successful records before going solo again in 1988.

Tommy who was also an artist, poet and storyteller is best know for songs such as “The green fields of France” and “Red is the rose”.

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

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