Tributes have flowed for the co-founder of renowned traditional band De Danann, Alec Finn, who passed away aged 74.
Originally from England, Finn made Co Galway his home, living in the 15th-century Oranmore Castle with his family.
A talented bouzouki player, he rose to prominence as one quarter of De Danann, playing with Frankie Gavin, Ringo McDonagh and Charlie Piggott in the band since 1974.
They’re credited with bringing Irish music to the attention of worldwide audiences with albums ‘Anthem’ and ‘Ballroom’ earning critical acclaim.
Over the years, the band gave a platform to other well-known traditional musicians and singers, including Mary Black and Dolores Keane.
On the news of his passing, tributes flooded in for the outstanding musician, led by President Michael D Higgins.
“All those who love Irish music will have heard with great sadness the news of the passing of Alec Finn,” he said.
“Alec Finn, an enormously talented musician and an influential bouzouki player, and founding member of De Danann, helped bring Irish music to the attention of a global audience.
“Proud of his family’s roots in Galway, Alec Finn grew up with music, and when his own talent combined with those of Frankie Gavin, Johnny McDonagh, Charlie Piggott and Dolores Keane, De Danann was born. From their early beginnings in An Spidéal and Galway City, De Danann grew to become one of the most significant and best loved representatives of Irish music at its best.
“Alec Finn was also a distinguished solo artist and session musician, playing on a variety of string instruments, but always bringing his famed sensitivity and skill to every performance.
“It has been a privilege to know Alec Finn. Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to his family, colleagues and friends, in the full knowledge that Alec Finn’s music will live on and continue to inspire countless people around the world,” he added.
Tributes also poured in from Finn’s fellow musicians.
Galway rock group The Stunning expressed their sadness at the passing of a “trailblazer”.
“Saddened to hear of the passing of Galway musician Alec Finn of De Danann,” they said.
“A trailblazer and a great character. Rest in peace Alec. Deepest sympathies to Leonie and family.”
Singer Frances Black also offered her condolences to the Galway man’s family.
“I’m deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Alec Finn,” she said.
“I’ve very fond memories of going to many De Danann gigs down through the years, my condolences to Alec’s family and friends.”
Singer Tommy Fleming also paid his respects, having toured with De Danann in the nineties.
“Alec was a stalwart of Irish music and an integral member of De Danann. I toured the world with these guys from 1993-1996 as their lead singer.”
He is survived by wife Leonie King and two children, Cian and Heather.
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