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Belfast singer Bap Kennedy passes away aged 54

Published 01/11/2016

Bap Kennedy
Bap Kennedy

Belfast singer Bap Kennedy, who had been in a hospice, has passed away after a battle with pancreas and bowel cancer.

The 54-year-old former Energy Orchard frontman died on Tuesday evening at around 6pm.

Bap was receiving palliative care at the Marie Curie Hospice.

His death was announced on a post on his Facebook page which said: "Bap was extremely brave until the end.

"We would like to thank everybody for their kind messages of support over the past few months, these meant a lot to Bap and Brenda and helped Bap stay positive throughout his illness.

"We are also extremely grateful to all the staff at the Marie Curie hospice for their kindness and warm heartedness during his stay."

The singer was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and had been due to perform at a festival in Co Mayo on May 7 but instead had to be taken to the Ulster Hospital suffering from severe stomach pains.

Bap's specially recorded message for fans said: "I just want to thank everyone for their support.

"It's hard to explain, but for years it seemed like I was in the wilderness.

"I felt like I was making records for a very small audience of like-minded people who were getting what I was doing. But now it seems the music has reached far more people than I realised.

"I'm always surprised to find out that people care so much.

"It gives me another reason to keep going."

He later set up a blog to keep people updated until he was "well enough to perform again" and in his first blog post he announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Bap Kennedy and his wife Brenda
Bap Kennedy and his wife Brenda

Because of his illness, Bap cancelled his other performances.

He continued to post about his illness, updating fans on an operation he had, the fact that doctors were unable to remove his cancer and his move to a Marie Curie Hospice in August.

However, Bap stayed positive in his messages. In one post from July he wrote: "There's so much trouble in the world, yet all I've had directed at me lately has been love and kindness.

Bap Kennedy
Bap Kennedy

"I've never felt so loved and appreciated. I think my heart is going to burst."

Bap had collaborated with Steve Earle, Mark Knopfler, Shane MacGowan and Van Morrison.

He had just finished recording his new album Reckless Heart when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Bap Kennedy at home with his wife Brenda
Bap Kennedy at home with his wife Brenda

The album will be released next month.

Bap Kennedy performing at the Limelight for, Vibes for Terri - a benefit for Terri Hooley. December 28th 2014. Picture by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Bap Kennedy performing at the Limelight for, Vibes for Terri - a benefit for Terri Hooley. December 28th 2014. Picture by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

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