Friday 26 December 2014

Folk music great Paddy Clancy dies aged 76

Published 12/11/1998 | 00:11

PADDY Clancy, who has died aged 76, was the oldest of the Clancy Brothers from Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, who, with Tommy Makem from Armagh, became internationally famous folk singers in the 1960s.

PADDY Clancy, who has died aged 76, was the oldest of the Clancy Brothers from Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, who, with Tommy Makem from Armagh, became internationally famous folk singers in the 1960s.

They came together in New York and began singing to pay the rent of a Greenwich Village theatre where they had been staging Irish plays. They were soon playing in top clubs.

An appearance on the Ed Sullivan TV show made them known across America and the group helped inspire the revival of interest in traditional music and song in this country in the '60s.

Paddy Clancy, a retired farmer and businessman, never really gave up singing. During the Tour de France's summer visit, although seriously ill, he entertained spectators at an open-air concert in his native town.

When the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem first toured Ireland in 1963 they were an overnight sensation. Their albums became bestsellers in 1964 they had 30pc of all record sales in Ireland.

Broadcaster Ciarán Mac Mathúna, who was responsible for bringing their music to Ireland, said last night: ``Some people held that the presentation of Irish music by the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem was getting too far away from real traditional music. I don't go along with this.

``Paddy Clancy was a senior member of the group that won a huge audience for our music and song, an audience it never had before. They can take a lot of credit for the revival of Irish traditional music, not just here, but also in America.''

Paddy is survived by his widow Mary, and children Leish, Rory, Orla, Maura and Conor. Younger brothers Liam and Bobby and sisters Joan and Peg also survive him.

His removal takes place to St Nicholas' Church in Carrick-on-Suir this evening at 7.45pm. He will be buried tomorrow in Faugheen Cemetery after 12pm Requiem Mass.

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