Plan to erect statue in honour of Ronnie Drew

A statue of Ronnie Drew may soon be erected in his beloved Dublin under a plan being discussed by the city's council, it emerged today.

Deputy Lord Mayor Emer Costello believes there is broad support among her colleagues for a fitting memorial to the folk legend among the streets he helped make famous.

She is tabling a motion before Dublin City Council next week which could see money set aside for the project from cultural funds in next year's budget.

"Ronnie Drew was Mr Dublin," she said of the balladeer and founder of The Dubliners, who died in August.

"I think he will be remembered for years to come, but there should be a physical manifestation of the city's regard for him.

"I think it would be negligent of the city not to do it."

Ms Costello said she would like to see a tribute similar to the popular statue of Thin Lizzy rocker Phil Lynott off Grafton Street.

There is already a memorial planned to Drew’s fellow Dubliner Luke Kelly in the Docklands.

"Ronnie Drew was a fantastic man, he was really the embodiment of Dublin. He was synonymous with Dublin," said Ms Costello.

"In terms of his cultural contribution, Ronnie Drew helped put Dublin on the map, nationally and internationally. It just shouldn’t go unmarked."

The Labour councillor said her own party group on the council were backing the plan while she expected cross-party support at City Hall.

If agreement is reached in principle at Monday night's meeting, the council's Arts Strategic Policy Committee will be charged with drawing up a detailed plan with costings and a timeframe.

"I'm hoping it could be approved in time for next year's budget. I don't see why the money wouldn't be available for it," she said.

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