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Legend Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney to be laid to rest in Glendalough on Friday

"Sadly missed by his sister Sheila and all his nieces and nephews; his long-time friends in The Chieftains and the wider music community"

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Paddy Moloney of the The Chieftains

Paddy Moloney of the The Chieftains

Paddy Moloney of the The Chieftains

Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney will be laid to rest on Friday following 11am mass in St Kevin’s Church in Glendalough. 

The musician, who died yesterday aged 83, will be buried in the adjoining cemetery, his notice on RIP.ie reads.

It states that Paddy (Annamoe, Co Wicklow and formerly of Donnycarney, Dublin) (died) suddenly.

“Beloved husband of Rita and devoted father of Aonghus, Aedín and Pádraig,” it adds.

“Father-in-law to Áine and Anne and adored grandfather of Ciarán, Aonghus, Fionn and Mieke.

“Sadly missed by his sister Sheila and all his nieces and nephews; his long-time friends in The Chieftains and the wider music community.”

Mr Moloney was the founder and leading figure of The Chieftains, which he set up along with Sean Potts and Michael Tubridy, in the early 1960s.

The acclaimed performer has been credited with bringing traditional Irish music into the mainstream and his passing has sparked a wave of tributes from those in the industry.

Originally from Donnycarney on Dublin’s northside, he was married to artist Rita O’Reilly and had three children, Aonghus, Padraig and actress/producer Aedin Moloney.

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DIT conferred honorary doctorate to The Chieftains music legend Paddy Moloney in 2013 at St Patrick's Cathedral, Co Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

DIT conferred honorary doctorate to The Chieftains music legend Paddy Moloney in 2013 at St Patrick's Cathedral, Co Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

DIT conferred honorary doctorate to The Chieftains music legend Paddy Moloney in 2013 at St Patrick's Cathedral, Co Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

The Chieftains were one of the best-known Irish traditional groups in the world, winning six Grammys and he has left behind an enormous musical legacy.

He grew up in a musical family and began playing the tin whistle at an early age before moving on to the uileann pipes, learning from the pipe master Leo Rowsome.

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In a statement, the Irish Traditional Music Archive said 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".

President Michael D Higgins said 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".

“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," the president added.

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Paddy Moloney with The Chieftains. Photo: Collins Photos

Paddy Moloney with The Chieftains. Photo: Collins Photos

Paddy Moloney with The Chieftains. Photo: Collins Photos

“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.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was "so sad to hear of the passing of Paddy Moloney".

The term ‘legend’ is regularly overused, but hard to think of any other way to describe this giant of Irish music and culture. GRMA Paddy for your massive contribution to the life of our nation. RIP.”

American astronaut Cady Coleman also paid a touching tribute to the Chieftains leader on his passing with a picture of a tin whistle suspended in space on board the ISS.

Coleman, who befriended Moloney in the late 90s, said his music will “forever be missed”.

The band had sent Coleman instruments to play while on a mission aboard the ISS after she became the first person to record music for an album in space when she played three songs for the Chieftains 50th anniversary album in 2010.

"I loved playing Paddy Moloney’s tin whistle on the ISS while floating/watching earth go by,” she tweeted.

“Paddy had the rare ability to connect with people across the globe & I treasured our time together. My heart is with his family and musical family everywhere-he/his music will forever be missed.”

In 2012, Coleman told the Irish Independent that with NASA’s blessing, she was able to relay the finished music back to earth via the onboard satellite phone.

“I also recorded two traditional songs, ‘Fanny Power’ and ‘The Butterfly’ for The Chieftains’ 50th anniversary album. It was a great honour.”

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