President leads tributes to Rotherham folk musician

THE President of Ireland led the tributes to a Rotherham-born musician and folk star who has died aged 74.
Alec FinnAlec Finn
Alec Finn

Michael D. Higgins described Alec Finn as “enormously talented”, saying he “helped bring Irish music to the attention of a global audience”.

Mr Finn, the brother of writer Gervase Phinn, was known as a founder member of the folk group De Danann, who formed in 1975.

He died at his home, 15th century Oranmore Castle in County Galway, on November 16. De Danann split in 2003 but had recently reformed.

Mr Finn was born Alexander Phinn but took the Irish spelling of his surname upon moving across the Irish Sea.

Mr Higgins added: “From their early beginnings in An Spidéal and Galway City, De Danann grew to become one of the most significant and best-loved representatives of Irish music at its best.

“Alec Finn was also a distinguished solo artist and session musician, playing on a variety of string instruments, but always bringing his famed sensitivity and skill to every performance.”

Known for playing the round-backed Greek bouzouki, Mr Finn played with many prominent 

Irish instrumentalists including Frankie Gavin, Mary Bergin and Noel Hill. 

Fellow musician Elise Kress called him “an amazing musician and artist”, adding: “He was the quintessential creative; witty, talented and the greatest friend a person could ask for. 

“As in his seminal Irish band DeDanann, he provided the backbone of support and artistry.”