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legend The Fields of Athenry and Rare Ould Times songwriter Pete St. John dies at 90

The traditional music legend died peacefully at Beaumont Hospital

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Pete St. John (PIC: IMRO)

Pete St. John (PIC: IMRO)

Pete St. John (PIC: IMRO)

Pete St. John, the songwriter behind Fields of Athenry and Rare Ould Times, has died aged 90.

The traditional music legend died peacefully at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin on Saturday.

His work was recorded by many artists including The Dubliners, Paddy Reilly, and Mary Black.

Dublin City Ramblers, Sonny Knowles, and Daniel O’Donnell also recorded songs written by Pete.

Born Peter Mooney in Dublin in 1932, he was an electrician who worked abroad in Canada and The US before returning to Ireland in the 1970s.

He began writing songs about how the city had changed, and not necessarily for the better.

The folk singer has won many awards during his career such as IMRO songwriter of the year and the Variety Club of Ireland’s inaugural Gold Heart award for his outstanding contribution to Irish poetry and song.

Speaking about the award, St John said in 2009: “It’s a great honour for me to receive this award from The Variety Club of Ireland, especially as I have admired the great work they have been doing down through the years.”

“But I’ve also been given terrific support by many talented people in the music industry who recorded and sang my songs and took them around the world.”

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