Belfast honour for 'punkfather' Hooley

Published Friday, 09 November 2012
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Belfast has paid tribute to local ‘godfather of punk’ Terri Hooley, as a plaque honouring his musical contribution to city was unveiled outside a historic music venue.

Belfast honour for 'punkfather' Hooley
Terri Hooley has been honoured with a plaque outside the old Harp Bar. (© Pacemaker)

As part of the third annual Belfast Music Week, Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson unveiled a special plaque on the site of the former Harp Bar at Hill Street in the city centre.

The plaque acknowledges the important role that Terri, his Good Vibrations record label and shop played in the local music scene.

It is one the very rare times a living person has been honoured in this way by the city. A similar plaque marks the childhood home of Van Morrison in Hyndman Street in east Belfast.

Terri released many records through his label established over 30 years ago, including the anthemic 'Teenage Kicks' by the Undertones.

At the Harp Bar, Terri established a home for local acts like Rudi and The Outcasts, Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones and The Defects.

Terri has also had his story immortalised in the film 'Good Vibrations', which was filmed and premiered in the city this year.

He is a remarkable man who came out of difficult times in Belfast..He was a living example of how to survive beyond sectarianism and mistrust.

Mayor Gavin Robinson

Commenting on the historic unveiling, the Lord Mayor commented: "The contribution made by Terri Hooley to the music scene, here in Belfast in particular and across Northern Ireland as a whole, is written large in the history of our city and across the world.

"In the 1970s he set up a record shop in the city when many other people were going out of business- he provided an open and welcoming space when much of Belfast was closing down."

He continued: "Terri discovered a new generation of bands in the town who were inspired by the ideals of punk rock. They wanted a fresh start, they had alternative ways of thinking and they created their own sense of community. Terri, a child of the Sixties, understood the value of this.

"He encouraged young people to feel useful and empowered, and that is one of Terri's most important legacies."

Mayor Robinson added that the plaque is a small gesture to "serve both as a reminder of the light which both the man and the venue shone in some of our darkest days and an inspiration for people, now and in the future, to explore and experience our rich and living musical heritage further."

Belfast Music Week culminates on Sunday with a special event celebrating Terri Hooley's life in music at the Oh Yeah Centre.

© UTV News
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