As Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated, we celebrate Irish singers such as Luke Kelly

As Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated, we celebrate Irish singers such as Luke Kelly


Luke Kelly was a folk singer born in Dublin, Ireland. Luke was born in November 17th, 1940. He died in January 30th, 1984. He started his career in his later teenage years at the United Kingdom. By then, he started to improve his skills to the point where he would become a notable figure in the revival of Irish folk music.  

His early childhood years were first living in a middle class family in Lattimore Cottages in Dublin city before Dublin Corporation (former name of the Dublin city government) took it down. He then lived at St. Laurence O’Tools flats where Luke spent a lot of his childhood at. He left school at a very young age at 13 and started doing many different odd jobs for five years before moving to the United Kingdom in 1958. 

He has been in love with music since his teenage years. He would always attend Scottish social gatherings with his sister and listening to American singers there like Perry Como and Al Jolson. In his teenage years, he has also been staging plays at Dublin’s Marian Arts Society. When he was 20 years old, he joined his first folk club at Bridge Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1960. That is where he started his music career.

In 1962, Kelly had returned to Dublin. There, was waiting for a resurrection of folk music. There was also a new band being formed, and Kelly would be a founding member of it. When he returned to his home city, he started spending a lot of time at “O’Donoghue’s Pub.” It has been made as a hub for singing sessions. Soon, Kelly was performing folk music along with future Dubliner members such as Barney McKenna, and Ronnie Drew. It was a good time for folk music, because the three singers, and others, would create the Dubliners. 

He is most known to be one of the fathers of the group and one of the reasons why the group gave Irish folk music a large revival. He has become known for his unique single style and innovative ways to use folk music. He has started from humble beginnings to becoming one of the greatest folk singers.

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