Paddy Moloney

Paddy Moloney
Background information
Born (1938-08-01) 1 August 1938
Donnycarney, Dublin, Ireland
Genres Traditional Irish music
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, producer
Instruments Uilleann pipes, tin whistle, button accordion, bodhrán
Years active Early 1960s–present
Labels With The Chieftains: Claddagh Records, Shanachie Records, Mercury Records, RCA Victor, Hear Music
Associated acts Ceoltóirí Chualann, The Chieftains

Paddy Moloney (Irish: Pádraig Ó Maoldomhnaigh; born 1 August 1938) is an Irish musician, composer and producer who is the founder and leader of the Irish musical group The Chieftains[1] and has played on every one of their albums.

Early life

Paddy Moloney was born in Donnycarney, Dublin, Ireland. His mother bought him a tin whistle when he was six and he started to learn the Uilleann pipes at the age of eight.

Musical career

In addition to the tin whistle and the Uilleann pipes, Paddy Moloney also plays button accordion and bodhrán.

As a band musician

Ceoltóirí Chualann

In the late 1950s he met Seán Ó Riada and joined his group Ceoltóirí Chualann in the early 1960s.

The Chieftains

Along with Sean Potts and Michael Tubridy, Paddy Moloney formed the traditional Irish band The Chieftains in Dublin in November 1962. As the band leader, he is the primary composer and arranger of much of the Chieftains' music, and has composed for films including Treasure Island, The Grey Fox, Braveheart, and Gangs of New York.

As a session musician

He has done session work for Mike Oldfield, The Muppets, Mick Jagger,[2] Paul McCartney, Sting and Stevie Wonder.

As a producer

Together with Garech de Brun (anglicised to Garech Browne) of Luggala, he founded Claddagh Records in 1959. In 1968 he became a producer for the label and supervised the recording of 45 albums.

Personal life

He is married to artist Rita O'Reilly and has three children, Aonghus Moloney, Padraig Moloney and actress producer Aedin Moloney.

Selected discography

Awards and honours

On 13 September 2012, Moloney received Mexico's Ohtli award, the country's highest cultural award.[3][4]


  2. Gary Moore"Celtic Champs Chieftains take to the road". Retrieved 2010-12-16.
  3. Lawrence, Joe (13 September 2012). "The Chieftans' founder Paddy Maloney honoured with Mexico's highest cultural award". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  4. "Chieftain founder Paddy Moloney honoured by Mexican govt". RTÉ News. RTÉ. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2012.

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