Paddy Moloney, the founder of the Chieftains, has died at the age of 83.

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PADDY MOLONEY – founder of the Irish music group The Chieftains – has died aged 83.

The Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney’s death was confirmed in a statement issued by the Irish Traditional Music Archive today. They said the musician had “made an enormous contribution to Irish traditional music, song and dance”.

They added “few people can lay claim to having the level of impact Paddy Moloney had on the vibrancy of traditional music throughout the world.”

Paddy created the group with original members; Seán Potts, Martin Fay, David Fallon and Mick Tubridy in 1962.

As the band leader, he was the primary composer and arranger of most of the group’s music.

He also composed for films such as; Treasure Island, The Grey Fox, Braveheart, Gangs of New York and Barry Lyndon.

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Paddy and The Chieftains went on tour America every year, leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.

In 2017, he spoke out about still bringing in a crowd after so many years together.

He said: “People still love us.

“It’s quite an exciting show, and some of your local dancers will be joining as well.

“You can imagine at the end of the evening, how many people could we possibly have on stage.”

The group often collaborated with other stars such as Tara Breen.

He previously said of the saxophone player: “She’s a beautiful girl, a fiddle player from County Clare, a unique style of playing and improvising, and she does a few steps as well.

“She does a bit of dancing, and at the end of show, she takes out her saxophone,” he added to Hollywood soapbox.

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Fans have flocked to social media to pay tribute to the late star.

Imelda May commented: “So sad to hear of the passing of our dearest Paddy Moloney.

“He was ours wasn’t he. He made us all so proud of our heritage and brought such joyous energy.

“I’m honoured to have known and worked with not just a legend but a thoroughly lovely man.”

Paul Howard wrote: “Spent many happy hours in Paddy Moloney’s company while I was working on the Tara Browne book, especially. “Brinkwire Summary News”.

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