Legendary musician will be sadly missed in Clonmel

Eamon Lacey

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Eamon Lacey

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news@nationalist.ie

Legendary musician will be sadly missed in Clonmel

There was a great sense of sadness throughout Tipperary at the passing of legendary guitarist Philip Donnelly.
Philip was a very popular figure in Clonmel where he lived for years and prior to that he lived in Killenure Castle in Dundrum.
He passed away at Waterford Regional Hospital last Thursday.
A bus of his friends left Phil Carrolls bar in Clonmel on Tuesday morning to attend the requiem mass in his native Clontarf.
Philip was a popular figure around Clonmel. He was a member of the gym in the Clonmel Park and he enjoyed doing solo gigs in Bakers and the Outback and other local venues as well as gigs with his most recent band MARS( Mid Atlantic Rhythm Section)
Over the years he often did gigs in Cashel where he owned a pub, in Fethard, in Butlers Bar and at the back of McCarthy's for the Fethard Festival. He often played with the Pheasant Pluckers in McCarthy's and was also a popular figure in the Bansha when he lived in Dundrum.
“Philip was a much liked character, he was unique, he was great company” said Pat Donehy
Philip was a regular visitor to the Premier Music Store in O'Connell Street which was operated by Pat.
“Philip went to America first to tour with Donovan. Philip was huge in Hollywood first before spending fifteen years in Nashville where he was very highly regarded” said Pat.
Pat said that Philip played with so many greats. He was instrumental in bringing the Everly Brothers back together again, he introduced Nanci Grifith to Ireland and “he brought over some amazing people to play with him in The Sessions series at “The Point”“
Clontarf Cowboy
A music legend and one of the most sought after session musicians in Nashville, Philip Donnelly, known as the Clontarf Cowboy, played with a veritable who's who of country music over the past 50 years. Among those he fronted were the Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, Donovan, Emmylou Harris, Townes Van Zandt, Don Williams, Nanci Griffith, John Prine, Sara Dee, Ray Lynam, Clannad, Joe Ely, Kathy Mataya, Lyle Lovett and Hal Ketchum.
He also played with Bobby Whitlock, who featured with Eric Clapton's Derek and the Dominoes on the iconic Layla album.
At the start of his career in the US he came to the attention of the late Glen Campbell, and recalled at the time of Campbell's death that Glen had once given him a guitar. Campbell's mother was originally from Tipperary.
He was also a songwriter and co-wrote Living in These Troubled Times, which was a huge hit for Crystal Gayle, reaching Number 9 in the Billboard Charts.
Philip passed away on November 28 peacefully in University Hospital, Waterford, surrounded by family and friends.

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