Legendary concertina player Chris Droney passes away

Legendary concertina player Chris Droney passes away


Funeral arrangements for the late Chris Droney RIP.

Legendary concertina player Chris Droney – Photo: John Kelly

The death has taken place legendary Clare concertina player Chris Droney.

The award-winning life-long musician passed away overnight at the age of 95.

Chris was born in 1924 and has been playing music for almost eighty six years. His father and grandfather also played concertina and Chris learned by ear from the age of eight. He began his musical career by learning two tunes – The Wearing of the Green and Clare’s Dragoons. His first public appearance was at the age of 14 in Johnson’s dance hall in Kinvara, for which he was paid half a crown.

An inspiration to many musicians, both in Clare, nationally and internationally, and an outstanding ambassador for the traditional arts in Clare, Bellharbour born Chris Droney has been the recipient of many notable awards including the TG4 Grádam Saoil award for lifetime achievement; a CCÉ Bardic Award, a Teastas award, and in 2012 the prestigious Clare Person of the Year Award.

He became Senior All-Ireland Concertina Champion nine times in the 1950s and 1960s and has played with several well-known céilí bands, including the Bell Harbour Ceili Band and the Ballinakill, Aughrim Slopes, Kincora and Kilfenora Ceili Bands at various times. Chris has toured with his music both nationally and internationally and has made three solo recordings: The Flowing Tide, (1962), The Fertile Rock, (1995) and Down From Bell Harbour, (2005).

Chris’ children have also won All-Ireland titles on concertina, and many of his grandchildren continue the family tradition of concertina, passing on his great legacy of music.

Chris Droney and his daughter Ann pictured at a Concertina Convention in Ennis – Photo: Martin Connolly

While not a prolific recording artist, Chris Droney released three albums between 1962 and 2005, and he also played internationally as a solo artist. He also performed with groups including the Kilfenora Ceéilí Band as well as the Ballinakill, Aughrim Slopes and Kincora bands.

In 2018, he was awarded the MórGlór award, and on a proud night he was joined on stage by three generations of the Droney family, highlighting his musical legacy.

Chris Droney’s legacy goes far beyond his family, and as a musician he help to bring irish music all over Europe and beyond.

Chris was Predeceased by his two brothers, Gussie(Jimmy) and Joe(Patrick) and very recently, his nephew Jimmy, USA.

He is survived by his devoted wife Margaret, his loving children, Jimmy, Ann, Clare, Francis, Declan, Joseph and Caroline, his grandchildren, David, James, Áine, Iarlaith, Oisín, Aoibhín, Ailbhe, Doireann, Cathal, Gráinne, Éanna, Christopher Cian, Meaghan, Saileóg, Cillian, Ciara, Joey, Robin and Heidi and great grandchildren, Hanorah, Líobhan, and Seán, sons-in-Law, daughters-in-law, relatives, neighbours and a wide circle of friends.

Tributes were paid to the late Chris Droney on Clare FM today.