Irish music scene mourns passing of Mayo's John Dunford

The death of John Dunford, Corbawn Close, Shankill, Dublin, and formerly of 23 Marian Row, Castlebar, has evoked a sense of great loss and sorrow in his home town.

He died in Saturday at Blackrock Hospice surrounded by his loving family.

John lived every minute of his life to the full and was a generous, loving man who will be deeply missed by his wife Hilly, daughters Becky, Hannah, Katy and Emily, sons-in-law Niall and Craig, grandchildren Shay, Jude and Sid, brother Chuck, sister Derval, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, his entire extended family and many close friends, to whom deepest sympathy is tendered.

He was predeceased by his parents Stephen and Bernie, his brothers Steve and Tom, and nephew Kevin.

An accomplished musician, John’s career was varied and successful, including playing a leading role in the Irish music scene, teaching and lecturing, and a stretch as a sea captain.

He was manager of Sharon Shannon, played a major role in the success of the Waterboys as their producer, and was a member of the local band, La Salle, which won the first Castlebar International Song Contest.

John was a founder member of the General Humbert, a band which including leading Irish vocalist Mary Black in her younger years.

As destiny dictated, Mary was performing at the TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar last Saturday night and she paid a beautiful tribute to him with an emotion rendition of one of her greatest hits, 'No Frontiers'.

Local Councillor Ger Deere said John Dunford has left a lasting legacy to the music and cultural scene, not only in Ireland but throughout the world.

"John never forgot his roots and we are better people for having known him. I extend my deepest sympathy to the Dunford family on their great loss," he said.

His remains will be reposing at Colliers Funeral Home, Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, on Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m.

At John’s request, his funeral will take place privately.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.