Page last updated at 20:59 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

Irish folk singer Liam Clancy dies

Irish folk singer Liam Clancy of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem
Liam Clancy has died in hospital at the age of 74

Irish folk legend Liam Clancy has died at the age of 74.

He was the last surviving member of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, who were famed for wearing Aran sweaters while performing.

The band were at the fore of the 1960s folk revival, and Bob Dylan once said he could not "think of anybody who's a better ballad singer than Liam".

Mr Clancy had been ill for some time, and died in hospital in Cork on Friday, surrounded by family members.

He was born in County Tipperary, the youngest of 11 children.

In 1956, he emigrated to the US joining two of his older brothers who were working as actors in New York.

Along with County Armagh-born Tommy Makem, the brothers carved out a reputation for singing Irish traditional songs on the Greenwich Village folk scene.

Their big break came on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1961. Booked to perform two songs, the headline act cancelled and they ended up playing for 15 minutes.

The performance led to international tours including a sold-out appearance at New York's Carnegie Hall the following year.

Although he embarked on a solo career in 1973, he continued to work with Makem. He rejoined the Clancy Brothers in 1984 but later fell out with his brother Paddy, which led to another split.

While Tom Clancy died in 1990, the rest of the brothers resolved their differences in 1996 and set off on a farewell tour, joined by a nephew.

Patrick Clancy died in 1998 while Tommy Makem died in 2007.

Liam Clancy made his last public appearance at Dublin's National Concert Hall in May.

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