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Last Updated: Monday, 1 January 2007, 10:28 GMT
City's homage to rock star Rory
Rory Gallagher died in 1995
Rory Gallagher died in 1995
Belfast has paid tribute to one of Ireland's greatest rock stars with a memorial plaque and special concert in the city.

Hundreds of fans gathered in the Ulster Hall to celebrate the musical life of Rory Gallagher.

Gallagher, who was born in Ballyshannon in County Donegal, died in 1995.

He decided to start playing the guitar after seeing Elvis on TV and was inspired by musicians like Jerry Lee Lewis, Woody Guthrie and Chuck Berry.

The event included the unveiling of a memorial plaque by Rory's brother and manager, Donal Gallagher, and performances by The Pat McManus Band and Rory Gallagher tribute act, Sinnerboy.

A screening of Gallagher's 1984 Ulster Hall concert also took place, as well as an exhibition of memorabilia, including guitars, concert posters and portraits by rock photographer Fin Costello.

During the day, there was a Rory Gallagher Rock School.

Ulster Hall manager Pat Falls said Gallagher played many great concerts at the venue throughout his career.

Gallagher's nephew Daniel at an exhibition featuring the star's guitars at the National Museum of Ireland.
Gallagher's nephew Daniel at an exhibition featuring the star's guitars in Dublin

"Rory had a special love for Belfast, where he made his first real breakthrough playing with Taste in the late 1960s," he said.

"He remained loyal to his Belfast fans right through the darkest days of the '70s and '80s, returning every year for barnstorming performances at a time when many other big names stayed away.

"Since his untimely death, we often have been asked by fans to erect some form of memorial to him. This plaque, and this tribute night, is a great way of us showing our respect to one of the greatest Irish performers of his - or any - generation."

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