The Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney has died aged 83.
The piper, composer and producer was from Donnycarney in Dublin, and he formed the traditional Irish band in 1962 alongside the original line-up of Seán Potts (tin whistle), Martin Fay (fiddle), David Fallon (bodhrán), and Mick Tubridy (flute).
The Irish Traditional Music Archive confirmed his passing this morning, stating that he “made an enormous contribution to Irish traditional music, song and dance” and that “few people can lay claim to having the level of impact Paddy Moloney had on the vibrancy of traditional music throughout the world.”
During a recent interview in ITMA, he spoke about the people & events that shaped his life in music. 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.
— ITMA (@ITMADublin) October 12, 2021
Paddy grew up in a musical family and began playing the tin whistle and then the uileann pipes, learning from the pipe master Leo Rowsome.
The Chieftains went on to become one of the best-known Irish traditional groups in the world, winning six Grammys as well as many other awards.
Over the decades they collaborated and performed with artists such as The Dubliners, Tom Jones and The Rolling Stones, and they performed for Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth II when they visited Ireland.
Paddy was married to artist Rita O’Reilly, with whom he has three children.