2. DHS - Rory Gallagher international festival

Aug 12, 2021, 01:41 PM

Shrine Two: Hometown boy.
Location:  54.501652, -8.190329
Speaker: Donal Gallagher
Theme: gathering to salute great music from a musical legend.

It's hard to believe, but Rory died in 1995 aged 47 from complications after surgery. His memory lives on every June with a three day extravaganza that is the festival named after him, the Rory Gallagher International Festival. All from a town that he lived in for only the first year of his life, born appropriately enough in The Rock hospital. The David Annand statue in the accompanying photo is the epicentre of that weekend, where thousands of blues and rock fans gather for three days of good-natured celebration.

"Rory was one of the true heroes of Irish rock," Hot Press editor Niall Stokes reflects. "He was a magnificent guitar player, a brilliant songwriter and a performer of enormous dedication, energy and magnetism. But for all the remarkable success he achieved, Rory never lost touch with his roots. He was true to himself, true to his music and true to the people, with whom he shared an extraordinary kinship. If there is a higher compliment I don't know what it is. For all of these reasons, it is wonderful to see that his memory is being honoured in this way in Ballyshannon. It is, you might say, the least we can do. But it is no less important for that, as Rory will always retain a special place in the hearts of Irish music fans and of fans of great music the world over."

In our extensive audio clip, Rory's younger brother, Donal, reflects on how the Gallaghers came to be in Ballyshannon as well as Rory's desire to play there, the origins of the festival, finishing up with a tale about the statue's attire in the photo!

URL: Rory Gallagher International Festival
Audio taken from Donegal's Hallowed Sites on the Racontour Archive.
Spotify URL: Donegal's Hallowed Sites playlist on Spotify