TRIBUTES have been paid to influential Irish musician Dennis Cahill following his death.
Mr Cahill (68), who was born in Chicago to Irish parents in 1954, was one of the most renowned guitarists in the sphere of traditional Irish music.
Cahill was a member of trad band The Gloaming but also made his mark as one half of a duo with fiddle player Martin Hayes.
A post on Mr Cahill’s self-titled website on Tuesday confirmed his passing.
“Our dearest Dennis passed away peacefully on Monday evening, with his beloved Mary by his side as she has throughout his journey. Just moments before — we were comforting Dennis while The Lament for Limerick from Dennis’ album with Martin was on in the background — and as the track advanced to My Love is in America, Mary turned off the player, leaned over to hug and kiss Dennis one last time – and then he was gone…
“Too heartbroken to write any more…Play a tune today. Sing a song. Tell a corny joke. Sip a whiskey. Cherish a memory…My loving condolences to Mary, Cliodhna, the Cahill family, and all of Dennis’ many friends…
“Love you Dennis and rest gently in peace,” the post from Jimmy Keane read.
Among those to pay tribute to Mr Cahill was President Michael D Higgins.
He said: ““It is with great sadness that those with a love of traditional Irish music across Ireland, his native Chicago and around the world will have heard of the death of Dennis Cahill.
“Dennis brought a unique and innovative style to his guitar playing, while being deeply respectful of the essence of traditional Irish music. He will, of course, be best remembered for his collaborations with Martin Hayes both as a duo and within the group The Gloaming. Together they explored new musical territory and helped create a phenomenal interest in traditional music among a whole new generation of people both within Ireland and across the world.
“I had the pleasure of hearing Dennis perform on many occasions and will always remember in particular the performance by The Gloaming as part of the concert ‘Ceiliúradh’, held in the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2014 as part of my State Visit.
“On behalf of Sabina and myself, I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Dennis’s wife Mary, to his family and to all his friends and colleagues across the world.”
Tourism Minister Catherine Martin said Dennis had a “huge impact on the Irish music tradition”.
She added: “I'm very sorry to hear that Dennis Cahill has passed away
“His unique guitar playing had a huge impact on the Irish music tradition; he has left a beautiful catalogue of music behind him. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”.
The National Concert Hall, where Dennis played gigs frequently, said it was sad to hear the news of his passing.
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of guitarist Dennis Cahill.
“Dennis was no stranger to our stage, regularly performing with musical partner Martin Hayes & also with trad supergroup The Gloaming. We extend our sympathies to his family and friends at this sad time #RIP,” the NCH said in a social media post.