Leo Brennan, musician, entertainer, and father of the talented family which includes the international talents of Clannad and Enya, has died today, aged 90, at his home in Gweedore.
All of the family have been with him in his final days and the Irish musical community are mourning the passing of a man who dedicated his life to making happiness with his songs.
Leo was born into a showband family and spent much of his life on the road with the Slieve Foy Dance Band playing accordion, saxophone and as a singer. When the showband era finished – and with the demise of the dance halls – Leo set up in a small pub, Leo’s Tavern, in Meenaleck in 1968 to continue his enchanting trade.
‘Leo’s Tavern’, as it became known, went on to become a famous place of nightly entertainment and, significantly, a live stage on which all members of the Brennan family have been able to perform and follow in their father’s footsteps. Over the years the pub has hosted a long list of famous names from stage and screen. The musical tradition has continued to this day and is an important focus of tourist interest in the the North West of Ireland.
Leo is survived by his wife Máire ‘Baba’ Brennan and his peaceful passing is equally mourned by his children – Moya, Ciarán, Pól, Deirdre, Leon, Enya, Olive, Bartley and Brídín.
The funeral will take place at St Mary’s Chapel, Derrybeg at 12 noon Friday June 24th.