I'll tell you one thing that's really cool about the internet: you can ask any stupid question you want, and maybe, just maybe, several years later, out of the blue, someone will send you an answer:
Gruts (23-Jun-2001): Two Black & White Masterpieces
…A sticky label stuck on the bottom of the photograph presumably once gave some details of who the distinguished gentlemen were, but it has faded over the years and is now completely illegible. If anyone reading this knows anything about this photograph, please e-mail me.
Just before Christmas, I received an email from a chap named Cliff, who lives in New York:
Hello Richard, I regularly read your page. We both enjoy drinking in O'Donoghues in Dublin. I was there recently and found out (with a high level of certainty) that the middle fellow in the picture in the back room is the Irish singer Joe Heaney. No one knew who the other men in the photo were. Joe Heaney sang mostly in Gaelic and died in 1984.
And, damn it, if he isn't right:
(Note the two very different approaches to problem-solving: the Brit simply wonders out loud and doesn't do anything about it; the American flies across the Atlantic to ask the people in the bar.)
Thanks, Cliff. Mystery solved.