PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins led the tributes today following the death of Paddy Moloney, aged 83.
Born into a musical family in 1938, Mr Moloney grew up in Dublin.
He formed The Chieftains in 1962 and went on to enjoy a long career in the music industry as a musician, composer and producer.
Following news of his passing this morning, President Higgins paid tribute to his “extraordinary skills as an instrumentalist”.
“The Irish music community, and indeed the much larger community throughout the world who found such inspiration in his work, will have learnt with great sadness today of the passing of Paddy Moloney, founder and leader of the Chieftains,” the President said in a statement.
“Paddy, with his extraordinary skills as an instrumentalist, notably the uileann pipes and bodhrán, was at the forefront of the renaissance of interest in Irish music, bringing a greater appreciation of Irish music and culture internationally,” he added.
“Not only as a consummate musician himself, but as a founder member of Claddagh Records together with Garech de Brún, he brought a love of Irish music not just to the diaspora, but to all those across the world who heard his music and appreciated it for its own sake as it transcended all musical boundaries.
“His work as a producer was a contribution of great integrity, undertaken to promote the music itself at a time when the commercial benefits of doing so were limited.
“His legacy will remain with us in the music which he created and brought to the world."
Mr Moloney leaves behind his wife Rita and children Aonghus, Pádraig and Aedín.