Shandon bells to ‘rock out’ as Cork recalls legend Rory

Cork’s landmark Shandon bells are set to rock as part of a simultaneous citywide acoustic tribute marking the 20th anniversary of the death of legendary blues-rock guitarist Rory Gallagher.

His nephew, Eoin will play a Gallagher tune on the famous St Anne’s bells at lunchtime next Friday as local radio stations — RedFM, 96fm and C103, and UCC 98.3FM — simultaneously play Gallagher’s ‘Tattoo’d Lady’ over the airwaves at 1.10pm.

A Gallagher tribute act will perform live at the same time on Rory Gallagher Plaza at Paul St and there will be a reading of Louis de Paor’s evocative ‘A Poem for Rory Gallagher’.

Cork City FC will take to the pitch at Turners Cross that night to the sound of a Gallagher tune.

Mr de Paor, director of the Centre for Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway, is a long-term Gallagher fan.

“I can think of no other musician or artist who gave as much of himself to his audience,” he said.

Organisers of the commemorative events encouraged the city’s publicans and business owners to tune in to one of the radio stations, turn the volume up to 10, and rock out to remember Rory.

Gallagher was one of the country’s first truly international rock stars. Born in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, he was raised in Cork, and bought his first guitar second hand from Crowley’s music shop on Merchant’s Quay.

He toured with his band, Taste, during the late 1960s, and recorded solo albums in the ’70s and ’80s, selling more than 30m albums. He is still name-checked today as a major influence by stars including Ed Sheeran, Slash, and Brian May.

Gallagher was a heavy drinker and received a liver transplant in 1995, but he died from complications in London, on June 14, 1995. He was 47. He is buried in St Oliver’s Cemetery near Ballincollig.

Cork City Council and Camden Palace Hotel arts centre have teamed up to mark the anniversary of his death with the ‘Remember Rory’ event next weekend.

Lord Mayor Mary Shields will officially announce details of the event on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Cork Rocks For Rory music event takes place at Cyprus Avenue on Caroline St, across this weekend.

For more, go to facebook.com/RoryGallagher and by using the hashtag #RememberRory on Twitter.

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