New RTÉ documentary on Johnny Cash's 1963 tour of Ireland

This Friday, RTÉ will be broadcasting a new television documentary exploring Johnny Cash's 1963 tour of Ireland, which included a date at the Lakeland Ballroom in Mullingar.

'The Man Comes Around: Johnny Cash in Ireland' will also explore the legendary performer's relationship with Ireland over the course of his life.

The film presents some unique archive and first-hand accounts of a troubled time in Cash’s life, as well as recollections of people who saw him up close and personal in venues around the country.

At the age of 31, having sold 11 million records and having just released what would become one of his biggest hits, Ring of Fire, Cash decided to cross the Atlantic to perform fourteen times in thirteen days, mainly in rural dance halls.

During this hectic schedule he played in Cavan, Dundalk, Belfast, Mullingar, Galway, Limerick, Mallow, Athy, Kilkenny, Rush, and the National Stadium.

A 1963 ad in the Westmeath Examiner for Johnny Cash's performance in Mullingar.

Cash was struggling with an amphetamine addiction at the time and the film includes accounts of one drug-fuelled night on tour.

It also features a unique recording of the singer in Dublin which sat in shed, virtually untouched and unplayed, for over 50 years.

* 'The Man Comes Around: Johnny Cash in Ireland' will be broadcast on RTÉ One this Friday, New Year's Day, at 6.30pm.

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