Damn. I've seen the Chieftains here in the U.S. in small clubs and on big stages as well as in Ireland once. They were responsible for my love of Irish music. As someone with an Irish accent yelled out at one of there performances I went to in a jazz club: "Play it Paddy!" to the pearly gates and beyond.
A lovely man. He lived very near to us in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. I met him three times (once during a tremendous storm in Co. Wicklow when Diana and I were on our way to Glendalough for a wedding) and twice on Carysfort Ave., near his house. We had great chats and we talked about Elmer Bernstein, Leonard (or Lenny as he called him) Rosenman, and Marco Frisina. I was hoping to bump into him again. He is playing the uilleann pipes in Heaven now for sure!
What a loss. A musical treasure. His contributions to the score of The Grey Fox were immense, and, as I am a Frank Zappa fan, I recall he used to visit Zappa's home for musical soriees back when Zappa was dying of cancer. I think Zappa wanted a Chieftans' piece played at his funeral.