Clannad founder Padraig Duggan dies aged 67

Padraig Duggan, second right, with Clannad in 1982
Padraig Duggan, second right, with Clannad in 1982 (Image credit: Getty)

Clannad’s founding member Padraig Duggan has died aged 67, it’s been confirmed.

The news of the multi-instrumentalist’s death was confirmed on the band’s Facebook page, with the Irish folk outfit stating his passing followed a recurring illness.

The statement reads: “We are very sad to inform you of the loss of Padraig Duggan, musician, songwriter and founding member of Clannad.

“He died this morning in Dublin, Ireland. He was 67. Padraig, along with twin brother, Noel, were the youngest of six children of Aodh Hugh and Maire Duggan and grew up in the Gaoth Dobhair Gaeltacht in Northwest Donegal.

“Following a recurring illness, Padraig passed away in Blanchardstown Hospital, Dublin, and is survived by his wife Jan.

“Things will never be the same. We will miss him dearly.”

Duggan formed the band in 1970 and they found their feet at Leo’s Tavern, a family-owned pub in Donegal. But in 1982 they became a household name, recording the theme for ITV series Harry’s Game. It reached No.5 in the UK charts and won them an Ivor Novello songwriting award.

Following the track’s success and that of seventh album Magical Ring, Duggan and Clannad were commissioned to record music for the 26-episode TV drama series Robin Of Sherwood which ran in the UK from 1984-1986.

Following the launch of 1997’s Landmarks album, the band went on hiatus, leading Duggan and brother Noel to launch their record Rubicon in 2005. It featured an alternative version of Clannad track Liza, which is still used to teach children Gaelic in Irish schools.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.