Remembering Ronnie

Ronnie was born in the the village of Glasthule on the southside of Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. Living in the rented room of a ‘two up, two down’ the family eventually qualified for a council house in Monkstown Farm, also in the ‘the borough’.

His father was a carpenter and his mother a seamstress and before long the family expanded and started to out grow this small but comfortable house. The young Ronnie, being the eldest, was sent to live with his maternal grandparents on the upmarket Tivoli Terrace. His grandparents approach to guardianship was from a bygone era and he longed to be back in the family home. His father, Paddy begged his wife to bring their son home but by now ‘the granny’ had got used to the boy being in the house and Ronnie’s mother, Peg, didn’t want to upset her mother.

Phelim always felt that this separateness was what ultimately led him to carve out his own path in life and take risks that few others were taking at the time.

Ronnie would go on to be a founding member of The Dubliners, leaders in a folk revival that would bring them to massive audiences world wide.

Growing up, Phelim was always struck by the electricity generated at a Dubliners concert. Looking back he can see clearly that the group was exceptional not only because of the individual strength of the performers but that combined they were a force of nature. That energy and excitement coupled with the unbridled joy of a Dubliners audience made for a nights entertainment that felt more like a party in full swing where the hosts and guests were in perfect harmony.

Phelim’s ambitions as a singer have always been modest as a result!

Having spent his life so far working in the theatre, music has always played a big part in his tool box as an actor, in shows like The Abbey Theatre production of The Risen People or Landmark/ Olympia Theatre production of Once, A New Musical. Over the years he also always enjoyed the experience of playing small venues with friends.

In the years since his father passed away, he has come to enjoy listening back over his musical legacy and the wealth of material has reawakened not only a sense of pride but also deep appreciation of not just the recordings but the songs that influenced them and how they in turn have influenced others.

In this show join Phelim as he tells a few yarns and sings some of the songs made famous by Ronnie, Luke, Barney, Ciaran and John. The night is made up of a mixture of folk and other forms of musical that helped to make Ronnie and the lads so unique and the hope is to take the audience on a journey that they will enjoy in sharing these experiences in songs and stories.