The Chieftain dies

The Chieftain dies


norman lebrecht

October 12, 2021

Ireland is in mourning for Paddy Moloney, founder and leader of The Chieftains, who has died at 83.

Irish president Michael Higgins said: ‘Paddy, with his extraordinary skills as an instrumentalist, notably the uilleann pipes and bodhrán, was at the forefront of the renaissance of interest in Irish music, bringing a greater appreciation of Irish music and culture internationally.’

They were Joe Biden’sfavourite band.



  • V. Lind says:

    One of the true greats — what he wrought will last forever.

    RIP, Paddy Moloney.

  • Tribonian says:

    A sad loss. I saw the Chieftains in the late 80s with Van Morrison on the tour to promote the album they made together. Van the Man dropped his usual curmudgeonly stance and couldn’t stop smiling.

    Film fans should also check out the Chieftains on the soundtrack of Barry Lyndon.

  • Una says:

    I was brought up with these guys as a child of Irish self-taught musicians. The Chieftains were no bog-Irish traditional group, and around long before the advent of Riverdance and had class. The Chieftains came once to a late night Prom once in the late 90s and I brought my Kerry dad to it, who had never seen them live only on LPs. The atmosphere was electric. Wonderful group.