President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to Guinness heir Garech de Brún, founder of Claddagh Records, and custodian of Luggala Estate, following his death at the age of 78.

Mr de Brún, who was a lifelong supporter of the arts, opened his home to many musicians, composers, and writers over the years and the record label he founded in 1959 was the first to release recordings by artists such as The Chieftains.

Mr Higgins said:

The passing of Garech de Brún will be heard with great sadness by all those interested in the performance and recording of Irish music, song, and poetry. He will be deeply missed by his neighbours and friends.

Luggala, the 18th-century estate in the Wicklow mountains where Mr de Brún lived most of his life, is currently held in a Guinness family trust and was put on sale last year, prompting calls for the State to buy it as a visitor attraction and to ensure preservation of public access to the 5,000-acre estate which Mr de Brún always granted.

It remains on the market priced at €28m.

While he particularly championed traditional Irish artists, Mr de Brún also enjoyed hosting guests such as The Beatles, Mick Jagger, and Michael Jackson. He is survived by his Indian-born wife of 37 years, Princess Harshad Purna Devi.


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