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Paddy Moloney, founder of The Chieftains | RIP

October 12, 2021

Today we say farewell to long-standing friend and member of IMRO, Paddy Moloney.

Uilleann piper, tin whistle player, composer, arranger and leader of The Chieftains, Paddy made an enormous contribution to Irish traditional music, song and dance.

Hailing from Donnycarney, north Co. Dublin, his love of Irish music came from his parents’ native Co. Laois and the music that surrounded him at home. His first instrument was a plastic tin whistle and by the age of eight, he was learning to play the uilleann pipes from the great pipe master, Leo Rowsome.

Paddy always had a vision from his early days playing – a sound he wanted to create, a sound that had never been heard before. But it was not until he had formed the original line-up for The Chieftains in 1962, with Seán Potts, Martin Fay, David Fallon and Mick Tubridy, that he finally achieved the sound that had eluded him. The Chieftains went on to become one of the best-known Irish traditional groups in the world.

In 1968 and having recorded a number of albums with The Chieftains, Paddy also took on the role of Managing Director of Claddagh Records. He ran the label for seven years until 1975 during which time he helped to develop Claddagh’s catalogue and also a market for it. During this time he also produced, co-produced or supervised 45 albums for the Claddagh label in folk, traditional, classical, poetry and spoken word recordings.

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