Politics

Paddy Moloney, founder of the Chieftains, dies

Paddy Moloney, the founder of the Chieftains, has died.

Originally from Donneycarney, north Co Dublin, Moloney was from a musical family and began playing the tin whistle and uilleann pipes from a young age.

After he left school, he took a job with Baxendales, a large building firm to support his musical hobby and it was here he met his future wife, Rita O’ Reilly.

He formed several groups with other musicians in duets and trios, and in 1962 he founded the Chieftains alongside the original lineup of Seán Potts, Martin Fay, David Fallon and Mick Tubridy.

The Chieftains went on to become one of the best-known Irish traditional groups in the world, winning six Grammys as well as a number of other awards.

The Chieftains pictured on September 20th, 1975 (L-R): Sean Potts, Sean Keane, Michael Tubridy, Martin Fay, Paddy Moloney, Peader Mercier and seated in front Derek Bell. Photograph: The Irish Times
The Chieftains pictured on September 20th, 1975 (L-R): Sean Potts, Sean Keane, Michael Tubridy, Martin Fay, Paddy Moloney, Peader Mercier and seated in front Derek Bell. Photograph: The Irish Times

In 1968 and having recorded a number of albums with The Chieftains, Moloney decided to leave Baxendales to work full time in the music industry as the 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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