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music icon Declan Nerney has been a huge inspiration to me, says Nathan Carter

Declan was a very exciting entertainer, but more importantly for everyone who filled the Irish centres in Leeds and Manchester back in those days, he was a great performer to dance along to.

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Declan Nerney

Declan Nerney

Declan Nerney

WHEN I was growing up in Liverpool, one of the Irish country singers we often went to see perform was Declan Nerney.

The biggest memory I have of Declan from all those years ago was the energy he brought to his performances.

Declan was a very exciting entertainer, but more importantly for everyone who filled the Irish centres in Leeds and Manchester back in those days, he was a great performer to dance along to.

Without a doubt, Declan had a reputation back then for being the best dancing band on the road.

For anyone who wanted to have a good night out dancing, and a good jive, he was the man.

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Nathan Carter

Nathan Carter

Nathan Carter

And he's still the man. Declan still has that energy about him and dancers were flocking to his gigs up to the time the music stopped.

When I joined the country music scene myself, I had the great pleasure of performing one year at his famous 'Hooley in the Sun', when he brought Lisa McHugh, Derek Ryan and myself out for the shows. It was great fun.

Like my own 'Carter on the Costa' trip, Declan is still hoping his 'Hooley in the Sun' this autumn will go ahead if the restrictions are lifted. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed.

He has been an inspiration to many of us in the business, not least to his niece Una Healy, who has often spoken about the encouragement he gave her when she was starting out.

He's one of the good guys.

Declan's latest single is called Misty Rolling Midlands.

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