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Tributes paid as De Dannan co-founder Alec Finn passes away aged 74

A co-founder of Galway-based folk group De Dannan has passed away.

Alec Finn, who was 74, Finn, founded De Dannan in 1974 with Frankie Gavin, Ringo McDonagh and Charlie Piggot.

Although born in England, Mr Finn lived most of his life in Co Galway and lived in the 15th century Oranmore Castle with his wife, artist Leonie King.

President Michael D. Higgins has led the tributes to Mr Finn, describing him as "an enormously talented musician".

"All those who love Irish music will have heard with great sadness the news of the passing of Alec Finn," President Higgins 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.

Frances Black said she was " saddened to hear of the passing of Alec Finn".

Former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said he was "sorry" to hear of Mr Finn's death.

Mick Scott of the Waterboys paid tribute to his friendship with Mr Finn and thanked him for his music.

Singer Tommy Flemming described him as "a stalwart of Irish music".

Jim Corr offered his condolences to the Finn family.