Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival 2014

It was with unsurpassed pleasure I had the opportunity this year to make a pilgrimage across the north of Ireland into the Republic's Ballyshannon and sample a day of the annual Rory Gallagher Tribute Festival. My ever-long-suffering wife Gill agreed we could work in the trip as we love to tour the Antrim Coast skirting Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland - for us – has some of the finest coastal scenery we have ever travelled. We recommend you do not be fooled by all the tales of misery you hear about Northern Ireland.

This is one of the most hospitable countries on earth. The roads are flat the car parks free. Our hero – Rory – spanned the great divide during the '70's by being the whole of Ireland's hero. Although hailing from the Republic, he made it his mission to play Belfast and the North – joining forces with our remaining hero of the times – Gerry McAvoy who was from Belfast.

The opening day of the festival was slight disappointment in that Donal Gallagher (Rory's brother & manager) couldn't make the opening ceremony. Nevertheless organiser Barry O'Neill had secured the services of Eoghan Gallagher (son of Donal and brother of Daniel) and the revered Pat McManus to officiate.

Our first and only sample of the concert scene was the very fine 'Bad Penny' on the back of the trailer in the middle of town. A solid display of finely honed musicianship and well thought out renditions of Rory's music.

I looked forward with relish to the 3rd Nantwich Rory Gallagher Festival August Bank Holiday weekend when I made a contribution with my band on the opening Friday night – 22nd August 2014!

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