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Co Down country singer Fran O'Dwyer who died of Covid-19 at 63 was 'doting granddad'


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Tragic: Fran O'Dwyer

Tragic: Fran O'Dwyer

Tragic: Fran O'Dwyer

The brother of a former Co Down man who passed away over the Easter weekend, another victim of coronavirus, said he will always be remembered as a "doting granddad".

Musician Fran O’Dwyer (63) who had no underlying health conditions, died in his home near Liverpool.

His brother Conn O’Dwyer said Fran, also known as Frank and who lived in Runcorn, will be fondly remembered across the north west of England where he was a regular on the Irish and country music scene.

He appealed for people to respect the current social restrictions.

“I’m begging people to stay at home and stay safe in his memory,” said Conn.

“My brother had no underlying health conditions and passed away at home after struggling to beat the disease.

“The whole family have been left heartbroken this, especially as we were unable to comfort each other through this like so many other families.

“We hail from Stream Street in Downpatrick and we left Northern Ireland when Fran was 11 with our father Michael and mum Mary (formerly Quinn)” said Conn.

“Above all Fran was a partner, father, son, brother, cousin, nephew, uncle and friend, as well as a great singer, songwriter and entertainer.

“He always recalled his childhood friendships from his birth place, families like the Watsons, Connellys, Fitzsimmons and Currans.

Those memories led him to write a song called Just a Memory which was covered by Brendan Shine.”

Conn said his brother had been playing and singing for more than twenty five years.

“In that time he has entertained many an audience touring England and Scotland with his own style of pop, country and Irish music.

“He had worked with and supported artists like the Wolfe Tones, Joe Dolan, The Fureys and Brendan Shine.

“He was also well known on the Irish music scene for his songwriting ability he has had dozens of songs published and recorded by many leading Irish artists like Brendan Shine, Dermot Heggerty and Curtis Magee.

“One of his songs, The Clock on the Wall, has become a standard in Irish Music

Fran leaves behind his partner for 40 years, Alison, two sons Christopher and Matthew and daughter Mary along with his grandson Tommy whom he “doted on”.

“He touched the hearts of many and will be sadly missed by all,” said Conn.

Fran came from a family of seven siblings, Eamon, William, Mickey, Patsy, Conn, Joeanna and Catherine, with many of the wider family still living in the Downpatrick area.

Belfast Telegraph