Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney ‘lived for music’, funeral Mass told

Son says musician’s 70-year run was halted by onset of Covid-19 pandemic last year

President Michael D. Higgins was among those who attended the Mass for the Dublin born musician at St Kevin’s Church in Glendalough, Co Wicklow.

The 83-year-old, who played a key role in the revival of traditional Irish folk music, died this week.

Other members of The Chieftains attended the funeral along with Moloney’s widow Rita, his children Aonghus, Aedin and Padraig, and his grandchildren.

Fr Eamonn Crosson told mourners that Moloney had admirers all over the world and that his music would live on.

His son Aonghus told the service that his father had played for the Pope as well as opening for The Rolling Stones.

“A special thanks to The Chieftains. Paddy would always have wanted it that they would have the final note,” he said.

“Paddy’s life was The Chieftains. Music was his life. He lived for that moment when he would walk out onto that stage and say: ‘I’m Paddy Moloney from Dublin, Ireland, the greatest city in the world’. He always let his music do the talking.

“Above all, Paddy was devoted to Rita. There was a 60 years-plus love affair. Our dad loved doing what he did. In March last year, Covid brought about abandoned and then cancelled tours. For the first time in 70 years Paddy Moloney couldn’t play music to an audience.”

During the funeral, a set of uilleann pipes and a tin whistle were brought to the altar and a photograph of a young Moloney was placed on his coffin.

Moloney founded The Chieftains in 1962 and led the band to international recognition, including six Grammy awards.

Originally from Donnycarney in north Dublin, Moloney was the band’s main composer and played a variety of instruments, including the uilleann pipes, tin whistle and bodhran drum.

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