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Saturday 18 November 2017

Boys back in town for Slane 30 years on

Edel O'Connell

THREE decades later and the boys are back in town.

Rockers Thin Lizzy, who headlined the very first concert held at Slane Castle in 1981, are set to return to the iconic Meath venue for its 30th anniversary next weekend.

And these pictures, taken by Andy Spearman, show just how far the shows have come.

The first concert held at Slane in August 1981 was attended by 18,000 people -- next weekend's sell-out, which will be headlined by Kings of Leon, will welcome over 80,000.

Spearman's pictures show just how intimate the first gig was, with Phil Lynott walking through the crowd with his daughter Sarah.

Fans were also able to reach out and touch the lead singer of a young and upcoming band called U2 on the small stage.

Others on the bill that first day included English singer/songwriter Hazel O'Connor, Australian rockers Rose Tattoo, Northern Ireland metal outfit Sweet Savage, The Bureau and Megahype.

Construction of the stage for the latest event begins today, with Saturday's sold-out show also featuring The Whigs, Mona, White Lies and Elbow.

The venue was heavily criticised in 2009 because of a number of transport and access issues. However, Lord Henry Mountcharles is confident they have been addressed.

"We have new transport facilities with faster turnaround," he told the Irish Independent. "We have a proud tradition at Slane and I am happy everything has now been addressed."

Irish Independent

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