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Rock acts celebrate life of legendary critic George Byrne

Some of Ireland's top rock acts will take to the stage to pay tribute to legendary Herald critic George Byrne tomorrow night.

George passed away aged 56 in April after a short illness and now some of country's most iconic bands will remember his legacy at his memorial gig, Celebrating George, in Whelan's.

Homegrown performers including Pugwash, Something Happens, Paul Cleary of The Blades and many others will play the Camden Street venue to commemorate the writer's life.

George's nephew David told The Herald how a bunch of musicians who are unable to attend tomorrow's gig felt compelled to pay tribute to George on video.

“People who can’t be there but would like to be there have said a few words on video. People like Christy Dignam and Billy McGuinnes from Aslan,  and Paul McCloone from the Undertones.”

“I realised after he passed away that he wasn’t just a fan or a groupie of these bands but he was also friends with them as well.”

“The biggest indication of how respected he was to me was Tom Dunne saying at the funeral that he had 11 foolscap pages of people saying how devastated they were that he had died."

“And people who realised I'm his nephew have said things like 'I always loved his articles. I always loved that he didn’t hold back'.”

"To see that he meant a lot to people, and to see The Herald dedicate three pages to him when he died, you can see how respected he was as a music journalist."

"Tomorrow night [and the musicians' video tributes] should do him justice."


Celebrating George has been organised by the famous critic's family and also former Hot Press reporter Paul O'Mahony.

"The bands who are lined up to play are the bees knees of the Irish music scene and it's a tribute to George that anyone we contacted instantly said yes," Paul told the Herald.

Tickets are €20 and are on sale now from www.wavtickets.ie.

All proceeds will go to a charity based in Dublin's Liberties, where George grew up.

"[George's family] are talking about potentially setting up something new which could be in his name, such as a fund to help musicians or writers in the area," Paul explained.