Dear John,
Last night my house was engulfed by a beautiful musical storm when on the radio I heard Luke's immortal, spell-binding version of "Raglan Road".
I write to you because I feel the Dubliners and our motley Galleon crew have much in common.
We can't boast that we lit a musical torch which set the world on fire like the Dubliners, but we can empathise with you in many ways because we too have grown together and become a musical family and in doing so we have shared great joy and deep sorrow.
We didn't become an institution like the Dubliners, but then there can only be one diamond like yours and for whatever we have taken from it we thank you, and whatever depth of gratitude fellow musicians owe the Dubliners, Ireland owes you eternally more.
Because you have enhanced our reputation as a nation of Bards, Poets, Singers and Musicians the world over, and for that we are grateful and proud. But the musical road we share has strange and cruel twists and we must cope with a world devoid of those we have lost. We in Galleon, especially remember Mick Harte who left us in 2006 and Batty Mulcahy who left us in 2010.
But what kind of a world must it be for you John, having lost Luke in 1984, Ciaran Bourke in 1988, Ronnie in 2008 and most recently Barney McKenna in 2012.
So John, where do we go from here, we are standing at a crossroads on our musical journey, there are no signposts and we must instinctively choose the right path.
John Sheehan, iconic fiddle player, bearded troubadour, you became a Dubliner a few short years into their journey, you became part of the legend and it is now left to you, Sean Cannon, Eamon Campbell, Patsy Watchorn and whoever else might join your august group to carry on.
We wish you and the Dubliners well, it can never be the same without the founding fathers but we have a duty to carry on and in doing so we perpetuate the legacy and the memories of those we have lost.
We salute you every day and we dedicate this song to,
Luke - Ciaran - Ronnie and Barney.