Clannad bid final farewell to Pádraig Duggan in Derrybeg

Audience in tears as members of band he co-founded play two songs at funeral Mass

One of Clannad's founding members, Pádraig Duggan, lived for – and quite simply was – music, mourners at his funeral in Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal were told yesterday.

The 67-year-old multi-instrumentalist had been with the Irish music group, whose worldwide hits include Theme From Harry's Game, since its formation in 1980.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at St Mary's Church in Derrybeg to say a final farewell. Among them were his widow Janet (Jan) as well as the remaining members of Clannad; his twin brother Noel Duggan, his niece Moya Brennan and nephews Pol and Ciarán Brennan.

Also present was Mr Duggan’s sister Baba, whose husband Leo Brennan was buried in the same church a few weeks ago .


Leo was the father of the Brennan family, including world-renowned musician Enya. It was in his pub, Leo’s Tavern, where Clannad first came together.

President Michael D Higgins was represented by his aide-de-camp Lt Commander Patricia Butler.

Songs played

Fr Brian Ó Fearraigh said that while Pádraig had died “music never dies”.

“Today is a sad day and a lonely day. For Pádraig the song and the beautiful melody of his life here on earth had ended.

“But that same melody continues, it continues to a different rhythm, it continues to a new tone now — not of Padraig’s making but to that of the master musician, God Almighty himself,” he said.

Members of Clannad played two songs at the end of the Mass. Many of the audience wiped away tears as the haunting sound of the band filled the church.

The four remaining members of the group guided his coffin down the aisle. Mourners gathered outside under the grey skies as light drizzle fell on the hearse carrying Mr Duggan’s coffin to the nearby Magheragallon Cemetery for burial.