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Music

Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains has died aged 83

@TomTaylorFO

Paddy Moloney, the leader and co-founder of the Irish Trad band the Chieftains, has passed away at the age of 83.

The news of Moloney’s passing was broke by the Irish Traditional Music Archive, who stated: “Paddy Moloney (1938-2021) Taoiseach & laoch ar lár. Uilleann piper, tin whistle player, composer, arranger & leader of The Chieftains, Paddy made an enormous contribution to Irish traditional music, song and dance. Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam uasal.”

Further sentiments were made by Irish President Michael Higgins who wrote: “Paddy, with his extraordinary skills as an instrumentalist, notably the uileann pipes and bodhrán, was at the forefront of the renaissance of interest in Irish music, bringing a greater appreciation of Irish music and culture internationally.”

Later adding: “His legacy will remain with us in the music which he created and brought to the world.”

As a leading light of Irish Trad music, Moloney transcended the genre and achieved international acclaim, collaborating with the likes of Ry Cooder, the Decemberist, Bon Iver and many others.

The multi-instrumentalist formed the Chieftains in 1962 and released a huge body of Grammy Award-winning work over the course of the next five decades. The bowed out of live action in style in Philadelphia on St. Patrick’s Day of 2020.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Micheál Martin thanked Mr Moloney for his “massive contribution to the life of our nation”.

“The term ‘legend’ is regularly overused, but hard to think of any other way to describe this giant of Irish music and culture,” he stated.

When we spoke to Imelda May earlier this year, she was quick to cite him as an inspiration and she too joined the tributes, stating: “He made us all so proud of our heritage.”

As of yet no cause of death has been announced. 

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