Noel Kelehan, RIP

Whether you love the Eurovision or detest it, I was saddened to get a phone call earlier this week to tell me that Noel Kelehan had died.

He was best-known as the most successful conductor in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, conducting Irish winning entries in 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993 and 1996. In total he conducted 24 Irish entries, as well as entries from Bosnia Herzegovina in 1993, Poland, Greece and Romania in 1994, and Poland again in 1995 in an unequalled record of consummate professionalism. He last conducted at the contest in 1998.

He was a lovely man, witty, talented, generous with his time. Today would have been my mother's 80th birthday, and reading his obituary filled me with sadness as it lists many of the jazz greats in Dublin, including my own father Rick, who have all left us now for that great jazz session in the sky.

For those who are interested, here is the link to the Irish Times obituary.

And because it's Mum's birthday today, this is her ![](upload://hitqBSFJH6x2NzOYHM9azd1Cru2.jpg)with the said Noel Kelehan and the late Ronnie Drew.

Hello Shelia.

I too was saddened to hear of Noels passing. But to say I was surprised when I read your posting would be an understatement. Your dad Rick and my dad, also a guitarist,Sid Carroll were friends in the early days of jazz in the mid '50s and early '60s Dublin I remember him coming to dinner in our house in Rathgar together with Jack Gregory. and the three of them would play a few bars for my mother who was a jazz fan, but sadly unable to leave the house, so the music sometimes came to the house.

What a coincidence that we both ended up in France. Small world...big country..I'm in Normandy