Northern Ireland news

Statue of Donegal guitarist Rory Gallagher to be erected outside Belfast's Ulster Hall

Blues guitarist Rory Gallagher

A STATUE of Co Donegal guitarist Rory Gallagher is to be erected in front of Belfast's Ulster Hall after councillors approved the plan.

The Ballyshannon-born blues guitarist played the venue many times throughout the Troubles, staging annual Christmas and New Year shows at a time when few major acts were willing to travel to the city.

A plaque to commemorate Gallagher was put up at the Ulster Hall in 2006.

Last night the planning committee of the city council passed proposals for a new statue.

The east Belfast-based Wilgar Community Forum has been fundraising and lobbying for a statue of Gallagher to be placed outside the Bedford Street venue.

Other statues of Gallagher have been put up in Ballyshannon, in Cork, where he spent most of his childhood, and in Temple Bar in Dublin

Gallagher, who was known for his exciting live performances, suffered liver damage and died in 1995 at the age of 47.

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