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Joe Dolan placed this ad in 1968 offering a reward for information on rumours about him

Dolan said he was worried parents would stop allowing young people to the ballrooms he played in with the Drifters.

In 1968, MUSICIAN Joe Dolan placed a half-page magazine in music magazine New Spotlight offering a reward for any information about “vicious” rumours that were being spread about him.

Source: Brand New Retro

There were persistent rumours about the Drifters lead singer’s sexuality, but Dolan always denied he was gay. In an article following Dolan’s death in 2007, columnist Donal Lynch said he was sorry he had asked him “THAT question” in an interview.

At the time he placed the advertisement in New Spotlight, being gay in Ireland was still a criminal offence.

Offering £500 to anyone who could help him secure a prosecution, Dolan said he believed the “false and malicious” rumours were an attempt to injure him.

He said he feared they could “reflect on my colleagues in the Drifters and ruin us with all the dancing and music-loving public”.

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“These could put parents against allowing young people to the ballrooms we play in. It could be a spiteful move to damage us in the entertainment world, or it could be the product of evil minds, but whatever it is, I am determined to get to the bottom of it.”

The advertisement was supplied by Brian ‘Doug’ McMahon of Brand New Retro. You can find more snippets from the past in his new book, which is available in all good book stores.

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