Paddy Moloney, founder of The Chieftains, dies aged 83

By Sam Moore

Paddy Moloney, founder of traditional Irish music group, The Chieftains, has died aged 83.

Born in 1938, the Dubliner founded the band in 1962 and went on to win six Grammy Awards.

He also collaborated with a number of other esteemed musicians such as Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Elvis Costello and Van Morrison.

In a statement, the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) said: “Uilleann piper, tin whistle player, composer, arranger and leader of The Chieftains, Paddy made an enormous contribution to Irish traditional music, song and dance.”

They also said that few were equal to the “level of impact Paddy Moloney had on the vibrancy of traditional music throughout the world”.

The ITMA’s statement concluded by saying: “What a wonderful musical legacy he has left us.”

Ireland’s tourism minister, Catherine Martin also commented: “With the passing of Paddy Moloney, we have lost a giant of the national cultural landscape.”

She added: “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’s first instrument was the plastic tin whistle and by the age of eight he was learning to play the uilleann pipes. Moloney also learnt to play other traditional instruments such as the button accordion and bodhran.

He was also a noted film score composer and made music for productions such as Gangs of New York, Barry Lyndon and Braveheart.

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

No cause of death has yet been revealed.

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