Pádraig Duggan, founder member of Clannad, dies aged 67

Multi-instrumentalist was part of group from its early days in Donegal

Pádraig Duggan, a founding member of the longstanding Celtic music group Clannad, has died aged 67 in Dublin.

Clannad, formed in 1970 through regular performances in the family pub, Leo's Tavern, in Gweedore, County Donegal, combined elements of Irish traditional music and contemporary rock/pop.

The original band included siblings Moya, Enya, Ciarán and Pól Brennan and their twin uncles Noel and Pádraig Duggan. Enya left the group in 1981 to pursue a highly successful solo career

The group’s international profile soared in 1982 with the release of the Theme from Harry’s Game, and they went on to become a leader in the burgeoning Celtic music genre in the 1980s and 1990s, winning awards including a Bafta, an Ivor Novello and a Billboard Music Award. Duggan played guitar, mandola, and mandolin and also provided vocals.


During a hiatus in the group’s career, Pádraig and Noel released their own album, Rubicon, in 2005, featuring, among others, their close friend Finbar Furey. They also spent time touring Germany with traditional band Norland Wind before Clannad’s reemergence in 2012.

"My dear uncle and Clannad member Pádraig Duggan passed away peacefully this morning," Moya Brennan tweeted. "Rest in Peace Pádraig".

Duggan, who is survived by his wife Jan, died in Blanchardstown Hospital following a recurring illness. His wake takes place at his home in Palmerstown, Dublin, on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. The funeral will take place on Thursday in Gweedore.

Hugh Linehan

Hugh Linehan

Hugh Linehan is Arts and Culture Editor. He also presents the weekly Inside Politics podcast