There is a seanfhocal, or old Irish Saying which says - Níl i ngach rud ach seal. There is in everything but a passing phase. Even after a half a century. And so it came to pass.
The Dubiners have played their final gig. They bowed out (pictured) proudly and in style.
Jim McCann introduced the Evening and the air went moist. A tour de force concert followed with John Sheahan, Seán Cannon, Eamonn Campbell, Patsy Watchhorn and Gerry O' Conner in the zone. Ceoladh joined them on her fiddle for her dad's Marino Waltz. Past and passed on members, Barney McKenna, Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew, Ciarán Bourke, Bobby Lynch, Jim McCann and Paddy O' Reilly were fondly remembered.
Captain John Sheahan, homeward bound and under Barney's seafaring eye, gently steered their ship towards harbour for the last time.
The Evening was laced with emotional moments, wonderful entertainment, and the inevitable sprinkling of Dublinese, much of it from the floor. We'll miss that too.
Harry Crosbie came from the arena into the bar and excitedly announced that there were several bearded Barney lookalikes in the audience, all women, from Norway, I wouldn't miss this occasion, beamed the proud dubliner.
Towards the end, each member said a few parting words. And what an eclectic mix of followers. Backstage afterwards included economist Colm McCarthy and a Jedward, in conversation. No, different conversations : )
Whilst performing in Germany myself a year ago, I saw The Dubliners in The Tempodrom in Berlin. Almost 3,000 fans and the place rocked. A high percentage of that audience had been, or were intending to visit Ireland. Mindful that The Dubliners had been doing this all around Europe and much further afield for almost 50 years, I thought, what ambassadors.
Con Houlihan described them as leaves from different trees blown together by the wind that changed the world of music a generation ago. Some forest.
So now my gentle tigers
Burning in the forest of no yearning
Walk on serenely ...