Christie Hennessy tribute at Scariff Harbour Festival

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Singer, songwriter and producer Christy Hennessy died in 2007 aged 62 – Photo: Facebook

A fitting tribute will bring to life the much-loved singer songwriter, Christie Hennessy, will take place at the Church of the Sacred Heart, during the opening concert of this year’s Scariff Harbour Festival.

Aonghus McAnally, well known RTE radio presenter and producer, will share the songs and stories of the Tralee-born folk singer on Thursday evening August 1st. They range from humorous to poignant and will include may of his memorable hits.

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Christie Hennessy had one of the most unmistakeable voices on the Irish folk scene but his melodies are still irresistible and rooted to real life experiences often inspired from his time in exile in the UK. Christie’s vulnerability, however, was what most endeared him to  audiences. Aonghus McAnally brings Christie’s personality and songbook alive with his uncanny re-creation of Christie’s voice and guitar playing.

Harry O’Meara of Scariff Harbour Festival Committee expressed the Committee’s delight that the tribute evening could be re-lived in Scariff. ‘There is no doubt that Christie Hennessy was one of the greats and we are very pleased that Aonghus McAnally is bringing the show to us. With such a tradition of drama and performance for over 70 years through Scariff Drama Festival, many people here will remember the outstanding stage and film performances of his late parents, Ray McAnally and Ronnie Masterson,’ he said.

Aonghus McAnally always had a passion for performance, though music was his first love. The Dublin northsider grew up in a very theatrical and energetic household with people coming and going all the time. It was the kind of environment where Aonghus never knew what was going to happen next and it engendered in him a philosophy around living with uncertainty that he holds to this day. From music he stumbled into television and radio.

Well known RTÉ radio presenter and producer Aonghus McAnally

Christie Hennessy on the other hand was not born Christie Hennessy but rather Edward Christopher Ross. His first guitar was made from a tea chest that he got at the age of 6. His first job was a messenger boy which of course inspired one of his most famous songs. From there to buildings sites in the UK, he wrote many songs also made famous by other well-known singers;  Christy Moore and Don’t forget Your Shovel and Frances Black and All the Lies that you Told Me’

Scariff Harbour Festival 2019 in association with Waterways Ireland runs from Thursday  1st August – Sunday 4th August. Other musical events include Riptide Movement, Na Fianna, Sean & Conor Price, Rofi James, Country & Irish at the Harbour, the Gearóid Devanny Band and 3 time All-Ireland winners, the Shandrum Céili Band.

There are nature, bio-diversity and scenic walks, boat tours and library talk; fishing and fitness, open days at McKernan Woollen Mills and Scariff Fire Station & an open-air mass, skills workshops, crafts & chainsaw sculptures, riverside park adventures; kids fun zone and the unique game of three halves, selection of Queen of the Waterways and the launch of a new kayaking club, the East Clare Paddlers. The festival will be opened on Friday 4th August (6pm) by Derry born author and radio & TV broadcaster, Susan McKay.

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