Clonmel is set to remember one of its most famous and loved sons, pioneering DJ, broadcaster, presenter and producer Vincent Hanley, or Fab Vinny as he was also known. Following the recent 25th anniversary of his death, members of Clonmel Borough Council decided that the life of this revered and much loved music revolutionary, originally from Kickham Street in Clonmel, should be honoured and celebrated in the future.
There was unanimous support at this month’s meeting of the Council for a motion which called for a plaque or another suitable monument to be created and erected to mark the fact that Vincent Hanley was a Clonmel native and to recognise the huge role that he played in bringing new music to the ears - and indeed the eyes - of the 80s generation.
Vincent was behind a ground-breaking music video programme, MT USA, that aired for three hours every Sunday afternoon. Based in New York at the time, Vincent was the associate producer of the show, as well as presenter and its style was such that he would introduce each music video against the backdrop of the iconic sights of the City That Never Sleeps.
MT USA was ahead of its time being the first pop music video show broadcast anywhere in Europe and it was fitting and appropriate that the Clonmel man and past pupil of the High School, was the brains behind it, having had a very successful broadcasting career on radio and television to that point.
Sadly Vincent died on April 18, 1987, from an AIDS-related illness just three days before his 33rd birthday. But his legacy and memory have never been forgotten in Clonmel, Ireland and around the world.
Cllr Richie Molloy was behind the motion at this month’s meeting which called to officially recognise Vincent’s life and achievements, and speaking on the motion, he said that everyone remembered what a great person he was, and how he had achieved so much in his (almost) 33 years.
“I am keen that an official memento or memorial be put up to remember him and from a tourism point of view, it will give visitors a sense of what the people in Clonmel have achieved, and I hope this won’t be put on the long finger,” he said.
To progress the idea, a sub-committee will be formed with the specific function of exploring the best way to officially remember Vincent - whether it will be through a plaque or monument, or some other way.
Mayor of Clonmel Darren Ryan said that he will convene a meeting of this sub-committee in about two week’s time.
Cllr Billy Shoer said that he had been approached by so many people over the past few weeks since Vincent’s anniversary.
“He did so much for music and I would fully support a plaque to remember the tremendous work that he did for MT USA and also for opening up music to young people.” Cllr Gabrielle Egan recalled the phrase ‘kissey kissey from fab Vinny’ and said that it was fitting tat the Council should lead the way in remembering Vincent and she said that it would be an honour also for his family. Vincent’s brother Fergus and his family are still living in the Hanley family home in Kickham Street and will be consulted on the best way to remember their Fab Vinny.