Belfast Telegraph

Tributes as Dubliners star Campbell dies at age of 70

By Staff Reporter

DublinerS star Eamonn Campbell has been described as a "gentle soul" who "always had a big smile" as tributes poured in for the guitarist following his passing.

The singer, who joined the band in 1987, was touring with the follow-up act The Dublin Legends in Holland and Belgium when he fell ill late last week.

Campbell (70) was admitted to hospital and passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife Noreen and family.

President Michael D Higgins paid tribute to him, saying he would be missed by his legions of fans around the world.

"It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Eamonn Campbell, much loved musician and member of The Dubliners," he said in a statement.

"His loss will be deeply felt by his family and friends, and Sabina and I extend our condolences to his children Eamonn, Franky, Emma-Jane, Niamh and Ciara and grandchildren.

"He will also be missed by those in Ireland and further afield who continue to enjoy his voice and his music with The Dubliners, when Sabina and I met him so often.

"Many others will have the warmest memories of his work with many other artists."

Singer Imelda May described Campbell as "my rock and roll buddy".

Yesterday she shared a photo of herself with the "Dublin legend" and said she was proud to have known him.

"It's with a heavy heart I tell you my lovely friend Eamonn Campbell from The Dubliners died last night. He was a true Dublin legend and a hero of mine since I can remember. Proud to know him.

"He gave me this photo of us not so long ago.

"Last time I saw him we had a good old trad session and lots of laughs. I'll miss him. My love goes to Noreen, all his children, family, friends and of course his bandmates at this time. RIP my rock and roll buddy," she wrote.

Campbell's bandmates also paid tribute to their friend and remembered his fondness for their live performances.

Singer Sean Cannon said: "I am devastated. We have spent the last 30 years together touring and playing concerts.

"He was a great player with a great feel for Irish music."

Gerry O'Connor said he was still finding it difficult to cope with the news.

"I have not come to terms with it yet," he said.

"He was such a lovely guy. Always had a big smile on his face.

"He just adored playing live. He is a huge loss." Campbell was responsible for some of the biggest hits in Ireland and produced and played on the likes of The Fields Of Athenry, A Bunch Of Thyme and The Irish Rover.

It was Campbell's work on The Irish Rover that saw him being invited to join The Dubliners as their guitarist.

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