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Entertainer Jimmie Kennedy who toured the world

Obituary

By Joseph Cauley

Tributes have been paid to the popular entertainer Jimmy Kennedy, who has died at the age of 92.

As a 16-year-old he left his native Dublin, taking the train north to Sion Mills in Co Tyrone where he joined a travelling troupe of entertainers.

This group would travel around Ireland, setting up either in a local hall or from the back of a lorry. Each night they would perform a different play or a variety show.

A fine singer and comedian, Jimmy knew how to work his audience. Instead of the customary dress suit, he wore a kilt, often opening with a Scottish song and giving a twirl with a glint in the eye. Later he was to join up with James Young in the Group Theatre and appeared in videos of his sketches.

He also joined up with folk group The Irish Rovers who, in the Sixties, hit the big time with their record The Unicorn. He was invited to front their show, touring North America, which ended up in Vancouver. While there he was invited to tour with The Vera Lynn show, which led to further tours in Australia, New Zealand and America, as well as performing in the Carnegie Hall.

Mr Kennedy is pre-deceased by his wife May, and survived by his son Alan.

His funeral will take place on Thursday, December 28, at St Comgall's in Bangor.

Belfast Telegraph

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