Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Irish showband legend Sean Dunphy dies

Irish singing legend Sean Dunphy has died.

One of the showband greats, in 1967 the Whitehall-born performer, famous for his smooth baritone voice, represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest, coming second with his song 'If I Could Choose'.

However, he was best known as the lead vocalist with The Hoedowners, a showband led by trumpeter Earl Gill.

The group released 14 singles between 1966 and 1973, all of which entered the Irish charts, most notably 'Lonely Woods of Upton' and 'When The Fields Were White With Daisies', both No 1's in 1969.

Dunphy, who insisted fans call him 'Sean', went on to have two further solo hits in the late 1970s.

Despite undergoing a quadruple heart bypass operation in 2007, the entertainer continued to give live performances right up until his death.

Just 24 hours before his passing, the 73-year-old gave his last performance when he opened Arts Week at St Michael's House in Baldoyle near his home.

"Dad was doing what he loved right up until the end. He was a loving father who would do anything for you," his son Brian said last night.

Mr Dunphy passed away in his sleep at home and is survived by wife Lily, sons John, Gerard and Brian, daughter Mary, and four grandchildren.

His son Brian is a member of leading Irish traditional band The High Kings.

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