Tributes have been paid from across Clare and beyond to the late, and legendary concertina player, Chris Droney.
He passed away overnight, at the age of 95, after a life filled with music.
A waltz entitled The Bellharbour Hills that he learned from his father when he was not yet eight years old.
Chris lived along the North Clare coast for all of his life, but his music and reputation travelled far and wide, and he was renowned across Ireland and abroad as an outstanding ambassador for Irish traditional music.
Born in 1924, his first paid concert in Kinvara came when he was invited to play by a John Linnane, and a young Chris was excied by the prospect of earning half a crown.
After finishing third in the 1955 Fleadh Cheoil in Loughrea, Chris was victorious a year later, winning the Concertina competition during the ‘Fleadh Down In Ennis’
He would go on to win nine more All Ireland titles.
While not a prolific recording artist, Chris Droney released three albums between 1962 and 2005, and he also played internationally as a solo artist, and at times in groups including the Kilfenora Ceilí Band as well as the Ballinakill, Aughrim Slopes and Kincora bands.
He won virtually every honour possible, including the Lifetime achievement honour at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Awards, and in 2012 he was named as Clare Person of the Year.
In 2018, he was awarded the MorGlor award, and on a proud night he was joined on stage by three generations of the Droney family, highlighting his musical legacy
Chris Droney’s legacy goes far beyond his family, and as a musician he help to bring irish music all over Europe and beyond.
West Wind Presenter, Joan Hanrahan says Chris personifies all that is held dear in Clare, especially in music cicles.
Chris Droney passed away last night at the age of 95, following a short illness.
He is survived by his wife Margaret, as well as their chldren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and will be mourned by many, many more who knew, and loved, the man and his music.