Singer with The Dubliners Ronnie Drew talks about his religious beliefs, socialism and Luke Kelly.

Folk musician Ronnie Drew tells David Hanley about his overwhelming admiration for The Dubliners singer and banjo player Luke Kelly, who died in 1984.

Luke had a great musical voice, which I don’t have, and as well as having this musical voice he’d great pronunciation, every word, you could get every word, and he phrased, the phrasing was so good, that the story came across very clearly.

Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew disagreed about trade unions but behind the heated arguments they were very close.

Ronnie Drew is reluctant to call himself a socialist,

I'd be afraid of my life to call meself anything, I don't quite know what I am to tell you the truth.

He considers himself a Catholic with the ideal that,

If you have two coats you'd give the other away.

He has reservations about the Catholic Church establishment and is scathing about the greed he sees in society. He believes if Jesus was around today,

He would do what he did before drive the money lenders out of the temple.

Ronnie Drew has experienced good and bad times. He takes full responsibility for spending recklessly when he was younger.

I got a few bob and I blew it.

Had he invested his money in buying property to let in the 1960s, he would now be a wealthy man, but he is glad he did not take this route as,

I don’t think I could live that way.

This episode of ‘Hanly’s People’ was broadcast on 25 January 1988. The presenter is David Hanly.