Dubliner John Sheahan reveals death of frontman Luke Kelly was like losing a brother

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Dubliner John Sheahan reveals death of frontman Luke Kelly was like losing a brother
Dubliner John Sheahan reveals death of frontman Luke Kelly was like losing a brother

Dubliner John Sheahan has revealed the death of his band’s legendary frontman Luke Kelly was like losing a brother.

The musician spoke about their bond in a new documentary tracing the story of how two statues of his friend ended up being unveiled on the same day.

Sheahan said the late singer would be amused by the monuments which were erected to mark the 35th anniversary of his death in January.

John Sheahan (Image: NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

He added: “What would Luke think about it? He’d say they have little to be doing, doing a statue of me.

“I think when a group is together for so long, quite a strong bond is established.

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“When Luke died, it was literally like losing a brother from a family.

“There was a real sense of bereavement and loss there especially at such a young age. He was only 44, he had so much more to give.”

Luke’s brother John told the documentary his family truly discovered the folk singer’s place in the nation’s affections at his funeral.

He said: “Luke Kelly was an ordinary Dublin fella, I think the people of Dublin have taken him to their hearts.

“I think they proved that at his funeral.

President Michael D Higgins, his wife Sabina artist, Vera Klute and Lord Mayor of Dublin,Nial Ring unveil the second of two sculptires of Dubliner, Luke Kelly in Guild Street, Dublin this afternoon (Image: Colin Keegan, Collins)

“People came from all over Dublin, all over Ireland really. That proved that Dublin people had taken him to their hearts.”

The documentary catalogues how the quest to have a statue of the folk hero began in 2004 when councillor Christy Burke passed an emergency motion through Dublin City Council, but plans were
abandoned with the collapse of the economy four years later.

In 2014, when Mr Burke became Lord Mayor he selected German-born artist Vera Klute to create a two-metre high stone bust of Kelly’s head.

But the plans were shelved when his family expressed reservations about the radical modern design.

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Around the same time Dublin graphic artist Gerry Hunt, who was a huge lover of his music, commissioned sculptor John Coll, who previously made the famous statues of Patrick Kavanagh and Brendan Behan, to make a life-size sculpture of Kelly.

The documentary films both artists in the days before their sculptures were unveiled.

Sheahan said of the modern piece on Sheriff Street in Dublin: “I think it’s a wonderful bit of work.”

  • Two Lukes will be shown on RTE One tomorrow at 6.30pm.

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Source: Celebrity News Ireland