Just days after US president Donald Trump left west Clare on Friday, the sound of helicopter blades were once again in the air as legendary rock band Metallica paid an unexpected visit to the tiny village of Liscannor.
The Co Clare village, which is just 33km from President Trump’s resort at Doonbeg, is located at the southern end of the Cliffs of Moher.
Drummer Lars Ulrich and lead vocalist James Hetfield arrived to the sleepy village via helicopter at around 6pm on Monday.
Fresh from their sell-out concert at Slane Castle on Saturday night, the pair took in sections of a local walking trail before stopping into Vaughan’s Bar in the village for an their evening meal.
After their dinner, they chatted outside with fans and posed for photographs before leaving the village.
One local fan, Robbie Ball, returned from the Slane Castle gig just in time to meet the band.
“We heard a chopper landing in the car park behind Egan’s [Bar] and I didn’t think anything of it until I came into the village.
“When I came into Liscannor, my mate Tim [Quaid], who had been to Slane with me, said that Metallica are down in Vaughan’s having a bite to eat.
Robbie said they went down to the band members and congratulated them on the gig in Slane and said they had chosen a good place for a bite to eat.
“We waited outside Egan’s having a pint, hoping that we might get to see them again,” he said. “When they came out we met them out front of Vaughan’s.
“They were totally cool. People were asking them for photos and there was no problem at all. A good few people got photos as well.
“It’s something that you don’t expect in a small village in the west coast of Ireland.
“The gig in Slane was absolutely unreal, one of the best. I’ve seen them play three times and this time they blew the roof off, even though there wasn’t a roof.”
Meanwhile, the heartbroken family of a young Meath man who was killed tragically in recent weeks has thanked Metallica for dedicating a song to him at the Slane concert.
Hetfield brought a sombre tone to proceedings when he told the 75,000-strong crowd: “This is for a friend we never met — Christopher Bell,” before launching into the classic anthem ‘Nothing Else Matters’.
Christopher, aged 26, from Duleek, Co Meath, died when his motorbike was in a collision with a tractor on the Clonmellon Road outside Kells on May 25. He died of his injuries a number of hours later in hospital.
The hugely popular man, who was a Corporal in the Army Reserves Defence Forces was living in Navan and on his way to a holiday home in Westmeath when the accident occurred. His distraught partner Carina was following him in her car at the time.
Christopher was an avid fan of Metallica and already had his ticket to see his idols in Slane last weekend.
His uncle, Adrian Murray, said Christopher’s sisters Nicole and Katie had brought his ticket to the concert in his honour.
“I brought Christopher to see his first Metallica gig in 2008 in Marley’s Park when he was only 15 years old,” said Adrian.