The Chieftains founder and leader Paddy Moloney dies, aged 83

13 October 2021, 09:47

Paddy Moloney with The Chieftains
Paddy Moloney with The Chieftains. Picture: Getty

By Mayer Nissim

The President of Ireland is among those paying tribute to the traditional music legend.

Paddy Moloney, the founder and leader of The Chieftains, has died at the age of 83.

The news was confirmed on Twitter by the Irish Traditional Music Archive yesterday (October 12).

"Uilleann piper, tin whistle player, composer, arranger & leader of The Chieftains, Paddy made an enormous contribution to Irish traditional music, song and dance," read the message.

"Few people can lay claim to having the level of impact Paddy Moloney had on the vibrancy of traditional music throughout the world. What a wonderful musical legacy he has left us."

Among those paying tribute was President of Ireland Michael D Higgins.

"The Irish music community, and indeed the much larger community throughout the world who found such inspiration in his work, will have learnt with great sadness today of the passing of Paddy Moloney, founder and leader of the Chieftains," he said.

"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."

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He added: "Not only as a consummate musician himself, but as a founder member of Claddagh Records together with Garech de Brún, he brought a love of Irish music not just to the diaspora, but to all those across the world who heard his music and appreciated it for its own sake as it transcended all musical boundaries.

"His work as a producer was a contribution of great integrity, undertaken to promote the music itself at a time when the commercial benefits of doing so were limited. His legacy will remain with us in the music which he created and brought to the world."

Moloney formed The Chieftains in 1962 with Sean Potts and Michael Tubridy, and their career stretched over 50 years.

They released over 40 albums, with the last being 2012's Voice of Ages.

They collaborated with artists from countless genres, performing with Van Morrison, the Rolling Stones and Roger Daltrey, among others.

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