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Biography

The last surviving member of the Clancy Brothers, Liam Clancy, continues to tour solo, as well as write. In 2002, through Doubleday, Liam published the first part of his memoirs, Mountain of the Women: Memoirs of an Irish Troubadour. Liam enjoyed a bit of a resurgence on TV spots promoting the memoirs on American TV and Irish TV. Taking some time off from touring, Liam came back in full force in 2005 with his tour "Seventy Years On." Liam turned 70 in September 2005 and sang with an Irish Legends act at the Gaiety Theater in Dublin in August 2005, with Ronnie Drew and Paddy Reilly.

In March 2006, fifty years after the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem recorded their debut album, The Rising of the Moon in March 1956, the first full-length biography on the Clancy Brothers was written and published by Conor Murray. The book, titled The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem & Robbie O'Connell: The Men Behind the Sweaters chronicles the Clancy Brothers from the birth of Paddy Clancy in 1922 to early 2006. Simultaneously a two hour documentary on Liam Clancy was aired on Irish television, The Legend of Liam Clancy, as was a new TV concert special from Tommy Makem and his sons, the five-piece Irish folk song group The Makem & Spain Brothers.

Through 2005 to the present Liam has been joined once again by Kevin Evans of Evans and Doherty, both onstage and in the studio. Paul Grant and Kevin play nightly with Liam who continues to record, write and perform worldwide. His latest CD, "Yes, Those Were the Days," was a top selling record in late 2006. A full length feature film of his life is slated to begin filming this year culminating with a filmed concert in New York City. Liam will be appearing with Paul, Kevin, Danú and Karan Casey at the Tonder Festival in Denmark in August 2007.

In August 2007 Tommy Makem died after an extended fight with cancer, leaving Liam the only surviving member of the original group.

Liam Clancy died from pulmonary fibrosis on 4 December 2009, in Bon Secours Hospital in Cork, Ireland. Bobby Clancy died of the same disease seven years previously and is buried in the new cemetery in Ring, Co. Waterford, where he spent the last number of years of his life, owning a successful recording studio. Clancy was survived by his wife, Kim, and their four children, Eben, Siobhán, Fiona and Donal, as well three previous children Sean, Andrew and Anya. His son Eben was in the process of coming over from the United Kingdom and he had had a chat with his son Donal who was in the middle of a tour of California. The other three sat beside him as he died. Liam had intended to give another interview at the time but succumbed to the disease before this was possible.

The American city of Boston was said to be in shock at the news as his influence there is "inescapable". Radio disc jockeys in New York paid tribute to the man who, according to the New York Daily News, "played a major role in defining how Americans heard Irish popular music over the last half century", with one DJ saying The Clancy Brothers had "broke down a wall that was long overdue". Christy Moore, on a prescheduled appearance on The Late Late Show aired live on the night of Liam's death, said, "I would have been listening to Radio Luxembourg and rock 'n' roll as a young fellow and then I got to hear of the Clancy brothers, when I was 16 I came to Dublin to hear them in a concert. It was about 1962, I think it was the Olympia, it was the most exciting concert I had ever attended. It was Irish, it was rock 'n' roll, it was funky and it was even sexy".
Clancy's lunchtime funeral at St Mary's Church in Dungarvan on 7 December was attended by hundreds of mourners, including both the Aides de Camp of the Taoiseach and President of Ireland, Minister Cullen and various musicians and artists. He was later buried in Ring.

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