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Departed Dubliners still inspire surviving legends

THE surviving members of legendary folk band The Dubliners have said their departed bandmates will always play a big role in their performances.

Sean Cannon, Patsy Watchorn, Eamonn Campbell and Gerry O'Connor, now known as The Dublin Legends, are one of the main acts lined up for next week's annual Temple Bar Tradfest.

Eamonn Campbell said the group can't wait to get back to their roots – playing in a pub.

Despite their continued success across Ireland and Europe, Eamonn said that it is never quite the same without his late friends and music legends, Ciaran Bourke, Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew and Barney McKenna.

The vocalist and guitarist even has a picture of Barney, who passed away in April 2012, on his guitar.

"We always are playing in their memory," Eamonn told the Herald.

"They would have loved something like this festival; it's like going back home, back to the 60s.

"That's the way it was in the early days. There were no venues, it was all pubs and you were nearly part of the audience, so there was a great atmosphere."

Eamonn (67), who has been playing music full-time for 50 years, said his friendship with Luke and Ronnie goes back 30 years.

"Myself and The Dubliners became great friends in the 1980s, especially with Ronnie and Luke; we were great drinking buddies," he said.


"I did my Leaving Cert 50 years ago and I've been on the road ever since," Eamonn explained about his love of music.

"I wanted to be an accountant and the guitar just took over."

After the Tradfest the Dublin Legends will go over to England for a tour in February and March before going across Europe, where they will play in Scandinavia, as well as Germany and Holland.

The band will play in the Temple Bar pub, the Arlington Bar and Fitzsimons across three days next week as part of the Tradfest.