Stone Roses & Primal Scream star Mani welcomed home to Athy

Leinster Express Reporter

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First Johnny Marr of The Smiths and now Mani from The Stone Roses and Primal Scream have been honoured as part of the "Made in Athy" project.

Both Johnny Marr's parents and Mani’s mother came from the town of Athy, in County Kildare. Their two mothers grew up near each other in Knockroe, Maganey on the Kildare side of the border with Laois.

Athy is remembering her sons with two plaques dedicated to their contributions to music and their origins in the emigrant Irish communities of the 1950's.

Last Friday, November 2nd, Johnny Marr unveiled his plaque while a week later on Saturday 10th November at 3pm, Mani will unveil his plaque.

Both musicians still have family in the town and holidayed there as children. In his autobiography, Set The Boy Free, Johnny Marr speaks with affection about his Irish childhood in an English town. He talks of the houses full of music that inspired the young Johnny Marr to start playing the guitar.

Johnny was born in Ardwick in Manchester, while Mani grew up five miles away in Crumpsall. Johnny is predominantly famous for his work with The Smiths although successful as a solo artist (he is currently finishing a world tour).  

He has also played with Talking Heads, The Pretenders, Modest Mouse, and many others while contributing to the Oscar-nominated soundtrack to the movie Inception with Hans Zimmer.

Mani has seen enormous critical and commercial success with his band The Stone Roses. They reformed recently for a world tour. He also plays with Primal Scream. He says that he is excited about showing his twins where their Granny was born. He maintains that the local river in the fountain of Manchester rock'n'roll.

The "Made of Athy" project will run for 6 months and involve 23 plaques. The first plaque was unveiled by Thomas Gabriel, Johnny Cash's grandson on the 55th anniversary to the day of his grandfather playing in the town.

On the 23rd of November, Panti Bliss will unveil a plaque to producer and broadcaster Bill Hughes while on 3rd of December the current Finnish ambassador will unveil a plaque to the Erin Koivisto, the Finnish songbird, with local roots.

Before Christmas, old collaborators will come together to unveil a plaque to the late Liam O'Flynn who we lost earlier this year.

All are welcome at these public events and we would encourage anybody with an interest to come along.