Irish musician Eamonn Campbell described as a 'true legend' following his death

Eamonn Campbell, right, pictured with members of the Dubliners in the Crown Bar in Belfast in 2012. Picture by Hugh Russell

DUBLINERS musician Eamonn Campbell was last night described as "a true legend" following his death at the age of 70.

The musician, who was originally from Drogheda, Co Louth, passed away on Wednesday.

It is understood he fell ill last week while touring in Holland and Belgium.

News of his death was announced by the Dublin Legends Facebook page, a group he performed with after The Dubliners retired in 2012.

"Eamonn was a true legend and a brilliant guitar player," they said.

"He passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife and family. He will be greatly missed by all his friends and fans around the world.

"We are heartbroken and we thank you all for your thoughts and prayers at this time."

Campbell enjoyed a musical career spanning more than five decades.

He first came to prominence as a guitarist with Dermot O'Brien and his Clubmen in the 1960s, becoming the "go-to session guitar player in Ireland", before joining The Dubliners in the 1980s.

In a statement, his family said Campbell "played on countless recording sessions for practically every act in Ireland".

"In the studio he honed his production skills and he was behind some of the biggest hit records ever in Ireland," they said.

"Among others he played on and produced 'The Fields of Athenry' by Paddy Reilly, 'A Bunch of Thyme' by Foster and Allen and 'The Irish Rover' by The Dubliners and The Pogues.

"It was this last record that led him being asked to join The Dubliners as their guitarist on a full-time basis."

Among those to pay tribute to the musician last night were members of The Dublin Legends.

Singer Sean Cannon said: "I am devastated. We have spent the last 30 years together touring and playing concerts.

"He was a great player with a great feel for Irish music."

Banjo player Gerry O'Connor said he had "not come to terms with it yet".

"He was such a lovely guy. Always had a big smile on his face. He just adored playing live. He is a huge loss."

President Michael D Higgins described Campbell as a "much loved musician".

"He will also be missed by those, in Ireland and further afield, who continue to enjoy his voice and his music, with The Dubliners, when Sabina and I met him so often," he said.

"Many others will have the warmest memories of his work with many other artists."

Singer Frances Black also said she was "so sad" to hear about Campbell's death, while the Wolfe Tones said in a message that there was "no better guitar player anywhere."

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