Feature writer Seamus Doran pays his own personal tribute to Barney McKenna
I learnt with some sadness that legendary banjo player Barney Mc Kenna died yesterday at the age of 72 at his home in Howth just outside his beloved Dublin.
Barney was enjoying a cup of tea with a musical friend when he fell asleep in his favorite chair.
A beautiful death for a beautiful man who will me missed by fans worldwide.
Gifted musically he was a true gentleman of the old school as I can testify when I met him in Sunderland on the very day he had attended the funeral of fellow band mate Ciaran Burke.
He wore his gifts lightly and was kind and generous to all he met.
I reviewed a Dubliners show recently and noted that Barneys performance was the emotional highlight of a great show.
Even in his infirmity he gave his all from his banjo playing to the singing of his sea shanties.
He brought the house down with his singing of “I Wish I had Someone To Love”.
I found these lines I wrote down on the night itself.
Let them be how he is remembered.
“Barney McKenna’s beautiful long fingers gliding through the air
Like the wings of a flying swan
At dusk time towards home”.
Goodnight sweet prince.