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Saturday 17 March 2018

Dubliners legend Eamonn Campbell passes away at 70

Eamonn Campbell (Image: Gareth Chaney Collins)
Eamonn Campbell (Image: Gareth Chaney Collins)
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Eamonn Campbell, a long-standing member of trad music legends The Dubliners, has died at the age of 70.

The Drogheda native, who underwent treatment for lung cancer in 2013, died peacefully last night surrounded by his wife Noreen and family, according to a statement from The Dublin Legends, an off-shoot of The Dubliners that formed following the death of legendary Dubliner Barney McKenna in 2012.

"We are very sad and devastated to announce that our friend and colleague Eamonn Campbell has died after a short illness.

"Eamonn was a true Legend and brilliant guitar player. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife and family.


"He will be greatly missed by all his friends and fans around the world. We are heartbroken and we thank you all for your thoughts and prayers at this time," the statement read.

As news of Eamonn's passing broke last night, musicians and supporters of the trad and folk music scenes paid tribute to the father-of-six.

Singer and senator Frances Black said she was saddened to hear of Mr Campbell's death, describing him as "a brilliant guitar player".

Meanwhile former Ireland footballer Paul McGrath wrote on Twitter: "There will be a good session in heaven tonight, RIP Eamonn."

RTÉ presenter John Creedon called his passing "the end of an era".

Kieran Hanrahan, host of RTÉ's 'Ceili House', tweeted: "Very saddened by the passing of Eamonn Campbell. Friend and musical genius.

"Recently spoke to him about life and times & how to take a selfie."

Eamonn started playing guitar in the 1960s after hearing Elvis Presley's 'That's All Right' and played with the Viceroys and The Delta Boys.

He then joined the showband Dermot O'Brien & The Clubmen who had a massive hit called 'The Merry Ploughboy', according to The Dublin Legend's website.

He met the Dubliners while touring with the band in 1967 and went on to join the band 20 years later after many years working as a session and studio musician and producer working alongside stars like Cilla Black, Brendan Grace, Twink and Paddy Reilly. He also produced all of 'The Dubliners'' work from 1987 onwards,

Eamonn Campbell was responsible for bringing The Dubliners and The Pogues together in the mid-1980s. The result was 'The Irish Rover', their biggest hit in Britain, and an appearance on 'Top of the Pops'.

He made television history when he appeared with The Dubliners on the 'Late Late Show' in March 1987 to celebrate the group's silver anniversary. It was the most watched episode in the show's history.

Mr Campbell is survived by his children Eamonn (Jacko), Franky, EmmaJane (EJ), Niamh and Ciara as well as his 10 grandchildren.

Irish Independent

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