'His outstanding work will forever be enjoyed' - President
Musician Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains has paid a warm tribute to his long-time friend Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, saying: "I will miss him an awful lot."
"The first time I met Mícheál was at a Lorient Celtic Festival in Brittany. He was playing and I said 'this guy is good'. I just loved what he was doing. That would have been the late 70s," Mr Moloney recalled.
The two went on to become firm friends down through the decades.
Mr Moloney told the Irish Independent it had broken his heart to hear of Mícheál's death, and he paid tribute to all that the musician and composer had achieved during his career and during his time in Limerick.
"He did brilliant things," said Mr Moloney. "I just had great faith in Mícheál. He was a lovely man."
President Michael D Higgins said Ó Súilleabháin was "renowned as a unique pianist and composer", adding: "His music and outstanding work will forever be enjoyed by countless people, celebrating his humour, his fearless sense of exploration and his talent for harmony, joy and mobilising the peerless power of music."
A representative of Irishness at its best, "Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin has left us with an indelible legacy," he said.
President Higgins extended his condolences to Mr Ó Súilleabháin wife, Prof Helen Phelan, his children Luke, Eoin and Mícheál, to Dr Nóirín Ní Riain, to his brother John and to all members of his family and his wide circle of friends.