Paddy Moloney, the founder of the Chieftains and an iconic Irish musician, died at the age of 83.


In the world of Irish folk music, few names are as well-known and respected as Paddy Moloney’s is. The founder of the hit group the Chieftains left an undeniable impact as the face of the nation’s beloved genre and for more than 50 years he worked tirelessly to bring their unique sound to the global stage.

Unfortunately, Paddy passed away on Oct. 12, 2021, at 83 years old. With that being said, what exactly was his cause of death? Keep reading for all of the known details so far.

Paddy Moloney and John Sheahan

Per The New York Times, Paddy’s death was confirmed by his daughter, Aedin Moloney, who said that he passed away at a Dublin hospital on Oct. 12, 2021. However, she did not specify exactly what his cause of death was.

Patrick “Paddy” Moloney was born on Aug. 1, 1938, in northern Dublin. His father, John Moloney, worked for the Irish Glass Bottle Company in their accounting department. His mother, Catherine (Conroy) Moloney, worked as a homemaker.

At the tender age of 6, Paddy was given a plastic tin whistle, which spurred his lifelong affinity for music.

Shortly after that, he began studying the uilleann pipes and gave his first concert at just 9 years old. Paddy continued to study music as a pastime and by 1962, he founded the Chieftains, the group that would define his world-renowned musical career for decades thereafter.

Blending Celtic traditions with conventional Irish folk music, the Chieftains were a resounding success.

Their success as an Irish folk band quite literally never faded, as the group continued to work with modern folk groups as time went on. In 2012, on the 50th anniversary of their founding, the Chieftains collaborated with modern folk acts such as Bon Iver, the Decemberists, the Low Anthem, and Imelda May to record an album titled “Voice of Ages.”

The Chieftains are also a particular favorite of President Joe Biden, who has long noted that it is a dream of his to perform music live with them. Per Irish Central, the group was even supposed to perform at his 2021 inauguration, but COVID travel restrictions made that difficult at the time.

Paddy is survived by his wife, Rita O’Reilly, his daughter, Aedin Moloney, as well as his two sons, Aonghus and Padraig Moloney, four grandchildren, and his sister, Sheila.


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