THE Chieftains are mourning the death of one of their founding members, fiddler Martin Fay, at the age of 76.
The fiddler from Cara in Dublin had been ill for some time and had not performed regularly with the group for more than a decade.
A statement from the group said: " The Chieftains are sad to announce that Martin Fay has passed away at the age of 76. His memory and music will be with The Chieftains always. He will be dearly missed."
He helped found the trad group in 1962, but in 2001 Fay decided to stop touring.
Fay joined forces with fellow musicians Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts, Micheal Tubridy and David Fallon to record what was supposed to be a one-time album for the Claddagh label.
Paddy Maloney said: "He had a serious face but would have the rest of us in stitches with his jokes.
"As a player he was fantastic. For instance, the theme music for Stanley Kubrick's film 'Barry Lyndon', the first fiddle you hear is Martin.
"That's the sort of magical music he leaves us behind."