Tributes paid to Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney

The President of Ireland has led tributes to founding member of The Chieftains Paddy Moloney, who has died at the age of 83.

The Dublin musician played a key role in the revival of traditional Irish folk music.

Moloney founded The Chieftains in 1962 and led the band to international recognition, including six Grammy awards.

Originally from Donnycarney in north Dublin, Moloney was the band’s main composer and played a variety of instruments, including the uilleann pipes, tin whistle and bodhran drum.

Queens Festival launched
Paddy Moloney was a founding member of The Chieftains (Paul Faith/PA)

President Michael D Higgins said he was an “extraordinary” musician.

“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 bodhran, was at the forefront of the renaissance of interest in Irish music, bringing a greater appreciation of Irish music and culture internationally.

“Not only as a consummate musician himself, but as a founder member of Claddagh Records together with Garech de Brun, 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.”

Ireland’s Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin tweeted: “With the passing of Paddy Moloney, we have lost a giant of the national cultural landscape.

“Through the Chieftains, he brought the joy of Irish music to a global audience.

“His music was a source of celebration and pride for all of us.”

Moloney is survived by his wife Rita and his children Aonghus, Padraig and Aedin.