Family and friends gather at funeral of leading Irish musician and composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin

The funeral of leading Irish musician and composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin takes place this afternoon.

The life of the Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Limerick and the founder and director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance is being celebrated at St. Senan’s Church, Kilrush, Co Clare.

Tributes poured in following the news of the death of Mr Ó Súilleabháin last week..

President Michael D Higgins led tributes with a statement – and will attend the funeral.

“Music lovers all over the world will have heard with great sadness of the passing of Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, performer, musician, composer, academic and broadcaster.

“Proud of his roots in Clonmel and Murroe, and a close associate of famous musicians and musicologists such as Seán Ó Riada, Aloys Fleischmann, John Blacking and John Baily, Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin was renowned as a unique pianist and composer.

“His music and outstanding work will for ever be enjoyed by countless people, celebrating his humour, his fearless sense of exploration and his talent for harmony, joy and mobilising the peerless power of music.

“More than 20 years ago he was associated with the move of the Irish Chamber Orchestra to Limerick and at that time, as Minister for the Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, I saw the enthusiasm with which he delivered that project and the commitment that led to the establishment of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance which he founded at the University of Limerick.

“A representative of much what is Irishness at its best, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin has left us with an indelible legacy, both through his music and through the Academy, which he led for over 2 decades.

“Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to his wife Professor Helen Phelan, his children Luke, Eoin and Mícheál, to Dr Nóirín Ní Riain, to his brother John and to all members of his family and his wide circle of friends.”

A private cremation will take place afterwards in Shannon Crematorium.

The family have requested donations in lieu of flowers and said they will be apportioned equally among The Dialysis Unit – U.H.L., St. Brigid’s Ward – St. Vincent’s Hospital and Milford Hospice, all of whom provided great care and attention to Mícheál.

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