London- Irish trad music community pays tribute to Paddy Gallagher

The Irish World was sad to hear of the recent passing of the traditional musician, Paddy Gallagher.

Paddy Gallagher was well known around London for playing sessions particularly around Kilburn but he also played with Sean Casey and was involved with events like Return to London Town even attending the last one to be held with crowds in Cricklewood.

The family are good friends of The Irish World with two of his daughters working here over the  years.

Paddy’s funeral will take place at Sacred Heart Church, Quex Rd, Kilburn NW6 on Thursday 17 June at 12 noon, followed by burial at St Mary’s Cemetery, Kensal Green.

Karen Ryan announced the news posting on the Irish Music and Dance Facebook page on 19 May: “It is with a very heavy heart that I share the sad news that our wonderful friend, the great musician and singer Paddy Gallagher passed away early this morning, surrounded by his family.

“So many of us on the London Irish music scene were fortunate enough to know and love Paddy for decades.

“I remember first meeting and playing with Paddy in my teenage years. He was the absolute epitome of tasteful accompaniment in traditional Irish music, both on guitar and six string Greek bouzouki, and always brilliant company to boot.

“Paddy was our absolute ‘go to’ man for gigs and sessions. You always knew that his knowledge of tunes was massive, his sympathetic and sometimes driving (depending on the mood) style of backing would make everyone sound wonderful.

“We always loved to hear Paddy singing too – the greatest hits of Dolores Keane, Paul Brady or Johnny Cash (depending on the setting).

“But a sign of the modesty of the man, which I always had great admiration for, was that he would often politely decline requests for a song during a pub music session, as he felt that it opened the door to any ‘Tom, Dick or Harry’ up at the bar, belting out a song (regardless of level of talent … or sobriety) and potentially hi-jacking and ‘ruining’ a great night of tunes.

“Since Paddy’s stroke eleven years ago, his wonderful wife Bridget and daughters Lucy, Mary, Anna and Tara have been an amazing force of nature, going above and beyond in every way possible to give Paddy the best possible quality of life.

“Paddy’s absolute love of music and song remained strong and we loved meeting him at gigs and sessions. He was particularly pleased when we moved Return to London Town Festival to his manor (Cricklewood) in 2019.

“Paddy, you will be hugely missed by so many, but never forgotten.

“Sending condolences and much love at this difficult time to Bridget, Tara, Anna, Lucy and Mary.”

Many more took to social media to pay their respects.

Seamus Jimmy O Maolain said: “Such a lovely tribute to my cousin Pat. He was some musician and I played with him a few times when he visited me here in Tyrone. He will be sadly missed all right. A light has gone out in the world of Irish traditional music and a light has gone out for his family too. Bridget, Tara, Mary, Anna and Lucy, may he rest in peace. Cousin Jimmy.”

Ormonde Waters said: “Also very saddened to hear this. I have very fond memories of many gigs, particularly at the Kilburn Irish Centre with Paddy, Elaine Jeffries and Adrienne Lee. Lots of laughs, songs & tunes. One of nature’s gentlemen. Love and sympathy to his family.”

Derek Hayes said: “RIP Paddy. A really good friend to me back in the day. Taught me DADGAD long before YouTube was around. I tip my ‘Taglioni’ to you.”

Laura Forrest-Hay said: “I always loved playing with Paddy in Kilburn. He was a wonderful musician and a kind and funny gentleman. Thoughts are with his family.”

Colette O’Leary said: “We all loved Paddy G, a truly great guy and the finest musician. Rest in peace Paddy. Love to Bridget, Tara, Anna, Lucy and Mary.”

Stephen Gara said: “So sad, had many, many great sessions & gigs with him & Sean Casey (R.I.P.) in Power’s bar Kilburn. R.I.P. Paddy.”

Gerry McMahon said: “May he rest in peace , a true gentleman.”

Christina Fiddle said: “Sorry to hear about Paddy. He was a lovely man. And lovely words.”

Victoria Furzer-Pickett said: “Beautiful words for a lovely man.”

Lucie Nash said: “What a Man! Blessed with a beautiful family! Love you all so much.”

Anne Collins said: “An incredible talent. May Paddy rest in peace.”

Tom Stanley said: “Sing with Angels Paddy. R.I.P.”

Chris Sadler said: “Lovely words Karen. A very special man. Lost but never forgotten.”

Register now to keep up to date with all the latest:

  • Irish News
  • Sport
  • Community and Entertainment

Sign up to our Newsletter to be in with a chance to win a snazzy iPad and for all the latest...

  • Email updates
  • Regular features
  • Competitions and give aways