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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 18 February, 2019

Two statues of Luke Kelly to be unveiled on either side of Liffey to mark 35 years since his death

The statues will be located on South King Street and Sheriff Street.

Luke Kelly (r) and Ronnie Drew (l).
Luke Kelly (r) and Ronnie Drew (l).
Image: YouTube

TWO STATUES OF iconic Dubliners singer Luke Kelly will be unveiled next week to mark the 35th anniversary of his death.

Organised by Dublin City Council, the official unveiling of both sculptures will be undertaken by President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring.

The statues will be placed on either side of the city with one being located on South King Street on the southside as well Sheriff Street on the northside.

Speaking on behalf of organisers Dublin City Council, Nial Ring said: “Luke’s presence is still felt on the streets of his birthplace Sheriff Street and the pubs and haunts of the literati circles around Grafton Street and Baggot Street where he frequented.

“This is a unique celebration for a very unique man. To this day he inspires Irish and international artists through his words, songs and activism. It is only fitting that we celebrate the man, the music and his immeasurable impact on the Irish music scene and wider Irish culture. ”

The first sculpture was created by one of Ireland’s most prominent sculptors, John Coll, who has also created the city’s Patrick Kavanagh and Brendan Behan statues.

The second sculpture, a marble portrait head of Luke Kelly, created by award winning portrait artist Vera Klute, will be unveiled at 3.30pm on Royal Canal, Sheriff Street. Vera’s piece, which was commissioned by Dublin City Council, is over two metres high and was unanimously selected as the winner of a limited competition established by the then Lord Mayor, Christy Burke in 2014.

Plans are also in advanced stages within Dublin City Council to host a concert in Liberty Hall Dublin on the evening of 30 January to celebrate the unveiling of the two statues and to celebrate Luke’s contribution to the Dublin and Irish music scene. 

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