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Clannad founding member Padraig Duggan dies at 67

Published 09/08/2016

Clannad's distinctive and haunting sound has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide
Clannad's distinctive and haunting sound has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide

Padraig Duggan, founding member of Irish folk band Clannad, has died aged 67.

The musician and songwriter, who played guitar and mandolin with the Grammy award-winning Celtic fusion pioneers, died in a Dublin hospital after a recurring illness.

The band - siblings Ciaran, Pol and Moya Brennan and their twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan - achieved huge international success over their 40-year career.

Their distinctive and haunting sound has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide.

"My dear uncle and Clannad member Padraig Duggan passed away peacefully this morning," Moya Brennan wrote on Twitter.

"Rest in Peace Padraig."

Clannad formed in the early 1970s with regular performances at the family's music pub, Leo's Tavern, in Gweedore, Co Donegal.

Another of the Brennan siblings, Enya, left the group in 1981 to embark on a hugely successful solo career.

Their unique take on traditional Irish songs, coupled with influences from The Beatles to the Beach Boys, won them a folk festival competition and a record deal.

Their breakthrough hit Harry's Game, theme track to the TV series of the same name, came in 1982.

Worldwide acclaim and a global touring schedule followed, with a string of albums and well-known hits including In A Lifetime, with Bono.

Clannad reformed in 2011, with three comeback performances at Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral, before recording a new album and touring Europe.

They picked up a lifetime achievement award at BBC Radio 2's Folk Awards in 2014.

Leo Brennan, father of the Brennan siblings and owner of Leo's Tavern, died at the age of 90 in June.

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