Irish rocker Rory Gallagher to be honoured with Belfast statue

19th Oct 16 | Entertainment News

Late Irish rock star and bluesman Rory Gallagher is to be honoured with a statue in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Belfast City Council planning officials gave a proposal for a monument outside the city's Ulster Hall the go ahead on Tuesday (19Oct16).

Gallagher, who died in 1995, performed regularly at the hall throughout Northern Ireland's period of violent political unrest known as the Troubles, which lasted from the late 1960s until the 1990s.

During the period musicians were advised not to play concerts in Northern Ireland due to the risk of violence, but Gallagher continued to tour.

Gallagher was born in Donegal, Ireland but spent part of his childhood in the British province. He rose to fame with the band Taste in the 1960s before going solo.

The rocker also collaborated with rock and roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis and bluesman Muddy Waters during a career which in 1971 saw him voted ahead of Eric Clapton as Top Guitarist of the Year by readers of British music magazine Melody Maker.

His brother, Dónal Gallagher, told the BBC he was "ecstatic" about the news of the statue.

"(Belfast) was a musical home for him, it was where he left Cork for," Gallagher's brother explained to BBC News. "He had been to London, toured all over Europe but he was looking for a place where he felt he was at one with the music and Belfast offered that."

Ulster Hall already houses a plaque commemorating his performances there, which was installed in 2007 as part of an event including a tribute concert.

A guitar shaped monument on the side of the Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin, was unveiled by U2 guitarist The Edge in 2006.

The plan to build a new statue of will now go before Belfast City Council members for final approval.

© WENN Newsdesk 2016