Freedom of Waterford for Doonican and Bowyer

TWO of Waterford’s most famous sons, singers Val Doonican and Brendan Bowyer, were conferred with the Freedom of the City in a joint ceremony at the city hall last evening.

Mr Doonican, 84, is originally from Passage Road, while Mr Bowyer, 72, grew up in Bailey’s New Street, both in the city. The men, who both came from established musical families, have enjoyed success in Ireland and internationally for decades.

Mr Doonican and Mr Bowyer were the 32nd and 33rd recipients of the privilege since Isaac Butt was honoured in 1877.

Val Doonican recorded over 50 albums and had fans in all corners of the world, thanks in no small part to his BBC show, which featured him, his rocking chair and a host of international stars.

He achieved many chart successes and appeared on Top of the Pops performing hits such as Walk Tall, The Special Years, Elusive and What Would I Be?

Mr Bowyer’s career started in the late 1950s as lead singer of The Royal Showband, who were the first Irish artists to top the Irish singles chart, with Kiss me Quick, while in 1965 their version of The Hucklebuck achieved platinum sales.

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