President leads tributes to The Chieftains fiddler Sean Keane

President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to famous traditional Irish fiddle player Sean Keane following his death at the age of 76.

The Irish Traditional Music Archive said Mr Keane was a “pivotal member of The Chieftains” and “one of the greatest ever exponents of Irish traditional music”.

Mr Higgins said: “It is with sadness that lovers of Irish music and traditional arts across the world will have heard of the death of Sean Keane.

“Sean’s incredible talent as a fiddle player brought so much joy to so many and was enjoyed and admired by audiences all over the world.

“His virtuosity and skill was unique and has influenced so many musicians across the traditional arts. Indeed, Sean has been described as the ‘musician’s musician’.

“His generous legacy to traditional music and the arts will be remembered for generations to come.

“We are indebted to the Irish Traditional Music Archive who hold so many of Sean’s recordings and will ensure this legacy lives on and will be enjoyed through the ages.

“May I express my deepest condolences to his children, Paraic, Deirdre and Darach and his grandchildren, to his extended family, to his friends in The Chieftains and to his wide circle of friends and musical colleagues.”