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HomeMusicaPaddy Moloney, Chieftains founder, passes away at age 83

Paddy Moloney, Chieftains founder, passes away at age 83

DUBLIN, October 12, 2021-Multi-instrumentalist Paddy Moloney helped lead the charge for a revival of folk and traditional music in the Irish and international mainstream – and provided a link between the work of Seán O’Riada and the generations that took his modernising vision forward.

The passing has been announced this morning of traditional musician Paddy Moloney – multi-instrumentalist, composer, and founder of legendary Irish group The Chieftains.

In a statement this morning, the Irish Traditional Music Archive confirmed his passing,

(photo by The

stating 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”.

Moloney was married to artist Rita O’Reilly, with whom he had three children.

Originally from Donneycarney in Dublin, Moloney began learning the tin whistle at six years old, and the uilleann pipes at the age of eight.

Moloney’s body of work began in earnest when he met late composer and musician Seán Ó Riada, performing in his Ceoltóirí Chualann group throughout the 1960s, alongside a who’s who of traditional players of the age.

Arts Minister Catherine Martin was among those who paid tribute to the late musician. “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. Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam,” Martin posted on Twitter.

Author Paul Howard also took to Twitter to pay tribute: “Spent many happy hours in Paddy Moloney’s company while I was working on the Tara Browne book, especially at Luggala. What a wonderful gent. Very sad news. Paddy Moloney RIP.”  (from th site

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