The Dubliners founder dies

Ronnie Drew passes away aged 73

The Dubliners founder Ronnie Drew has died at the age of 73.

The Irish folk singer passed away at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Dublin at 1400 BST today (August 16) after battling ill health.

His wife Deirdre, died last year and he is survived by his two children and five grandchildren.

Drew‘s family said he passed away peacefully while they were at his bedside.

In a statement they said: “The family are very grateful for all the letters of support and wishes during the term of Ronnie’s illness.”

Drew founded the Ronnie Drew Group in 1962, which later came to be known as The Dubliners.

He sang one of the band’s biggest commercial hits, Seven Drunken Nights but left in 1974 before he rejoined them in 1979 but quit again in 1995 to pursue a solo career.

He has recorded with a host of artists, including The Pogues and the Dropkick Murphys.

Earlier this year, U2 teamed up with Sinead O’Connor, Shane MacGowan and Christy Moore to record a tribute song The Ballad Of Ronnie Drew, reports BBC News.

All profits from the release of the single went to the Irish Cancer Society.