The cultural significance of members of SIPTU and its affiliated body the Musicians Union of Ireland (MUI) was recognised at the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, held last night (Thursday, 25th October) in Vicar Street in Dublin, with Lankum winning Best Folk Group and singer, Andy Irvine, presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, Ethel Buckley, said: “Liberty Hall has been a hotbed of working class music, art, theatre and cultural expression since the days when James Connolly and Countess Markievicz put on plays and concerts to entertain ITGWU members and their families during the Great Dublin Lockout of 1913 and in the lead up to the 1916 Easter Rising.
“Earlier this year, SIPTU invited Lankum into Liberty Hall to rehearse for their latest album. We are delighted that Lankum won the best group award in the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards last night and wish them continued success with the album.
“A founding member of the Musicians Union of Ireland, Andy Irvine, won the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. Andy was a member of the band Planxty which revolutionised Irish folk and traditional music. He now enjoys a successful solo career. Andy is an inspiration to all folk and trad musicians in the country. We offer our warmest congratulations to him on this award.”
She added: “The successful awards ceremony broadcast was itself the product of the professionalism of SIPTU members in RTÉ working as producers, camera operators and in many other roles. During the ceremony, SIPTU/MUI members Jimmy Kelly and Greg Boland, who died earlier this year, were also praised for their important contribution to Irish music over recent decades.”