Ronnie Drew (16 September 1934 – 16 August 2008) was an Irish singer and folk musician. He was born in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin.
In September 2006, Drew was reported to be in ill-health after being admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, to undergo tests for suspected cancer. The Evening Herald reported that Drew's apparent illness was due to years of heavy drinking. However, according a fan site dedicated to The Dubliners, it was reported that he was undergoing treatment for throat cancer. (Drew had been a teetotaler for a number of years, with an occasional relapse. However, he remained a regular smoker.)
Ronnie appeared on the Late Late Show on the 15 December 2006 along with Phil Coulter, where he discussed his recent health scares.
Despite his ailing health, Drew featured on an album entitled Pearls produced by Niall Austin with work Drew did with Jah Wobble.
His wife of over 40 years, Deirdre Drew (born McCartan) died on 7 June 2007 at St Vincent's Hospital. She died just a day before Ronnie was due to return to performing after his battle with cancer, at the Legends of Irish Folk concert with Johnny McEvoy, Ralph McTell and Finbar Furey.
On 25 October 2007 Ronnie Drew appeared on Ryan Confidential on RTÉ 1 to give an interview about his role in The Dubliners, his life since leaving the band and being diagnosed with throat cancer. This was Ronnie's first ever televised appearance where he was shown bald and beardless. Later in 2007, Ronnie again appeared on the Late Late Show, where he again spoke about the death of his wife and his ongoing treatment for cancer.
Drew died in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin on 16 August 2008, following his long illness and was buried three days later in Redford Cemetery in Greystones.