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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Founder of The Chieftains Paddy Moloney dies aged 83

Founder and leader of The Chieftains Paddy Moloney has died at the age of 83 years old.

Originally from Donnycarney, Co. Dublin, the multi-instrumentalist was a leading contributor to the revival of Irish traditional and folk music.


Becoming one of the most well-known Irish bands, The Chieftains were one of the best-known traditional musical groups in the world, winning a total of six Grammys.

They were also acknowledged as cultural ambassadors by the Irish government in 1989.

Moloney and The Chieftains also played with a wide range of other artists, making guest appearances with and contributing albums by Ry Cooder, Marianne Faithful, Mick Jagger, Elvis Costello and Sinead O’Connor.


The legendary group also recorded the acclaimed 1987 album Irish Heartbeat album with Van Morrison.

Playing button accordion and bodhrán, Moloney was the main composer and arranger for The Chieftains and composed for films such as Treasure Island, The Grey Fox, Braveheart, Gangs of New York and Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon.

Many tributes are being paid towards the legendary musician with President Michael D. Higgins stating, “The Irish music community, and indeed the much larger community throughout the world who found such inspiration in his work, will have learned with great sadness today of the passing of Paddy Moloney.”

“Paddy, with his extraordinary skills as an instrumentalist, notably the uilleann 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.”

IMAGE – Mark O’Brien (Twitter)


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