Remembering the Day the Music Died for Eight Rock Fans; Disastrous Day: Fans at the Lisdoonvarna Music Festival in 1983

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Byline: Nicola Tallant

THE golden beach and glistening waters seemed the perfect place to winddown after the electrifying performance by Rory Gallagher.

But the idyllic setting belied a perilous undercurrent and eight young men wereswept to their deaths off the Clare coast.

Three brothers were among the victims of the dreadful drownings that marred theLisdoonvarna Festival in 1983.

Now the young victims who died off the Doolin beach are to be remembered in anew RT documentary. They were: James Murphy, 19, of Co. Carlow; John Leahyfrom Kilmallock in Limerick, also 19; Carlow brothers James, 25, John, 22, andEddie Doran, 19; Dennis OSullivan, 30, from Kerry, and two friends from Laois.

Survivor Gerry Lister was only 16 years old on Sunday, July 31, 1983 and one ofhundreds of concert-goers who decided to take to the nearby sea to cool downafter performances by Van Morrison and Rory Gallagher. Within half an hour hewas struggling for his life in treacherous seas before he was saved by a localferry skipper.

Recalling the awful day, Mr Lister said: It was a very hot day so we went overthe fields to the beach for a swim. There was a big crowd sitting on the rocksand lots of people in the water. …