Eugene Hayes from the ballad group The Fingal Brigade passed away today, 18 March 2015. Eugene was the Accordion player with the group and I [ Martin Dardis ] was the lead singer and guitar player along with Joe on tin whistle, vocals and guitar. Eugene had not being well for a couple of years.
I had known Eugene for close to 20 years. Not long after we met at a session, Eugene joined our group. He was one of the finest accordion players I have ever known and a great character. Before Eugene joined the group there was myself, Joe and Barney Clarke. Barney is no longer with us either, he passed in September 2010 and is still missed by all his singing and drinking buddies.
The Fingal Brigad played for 10 years in The Estuary Pub and in all those session Eugene never once missed a gig. He was always on time and eager to play and entertain.
When he wasn't playing music, Eugene, loved nothing better than talking about songs and tunes and arrangements and keys. He was one of the most knowledgeable men I have ever had the privilege of knowing when it came to discussing Irish history and music, his favorite musician was the sligo fiddle player Michael Coleman.
The strange coincidence about the passing of Eugene is the fact that the most recent post on this blog was the passing of Jim McCann. Eugene came from the same neck of the woods as Jim McCann and had known and played music with Jim.
Well now Eugene, you'll have that opportunity again.
Dia a bheith in éineacht leat mo chara
In The Youtube Video, from left to right. Marc Fahrbach, Joe, Martin Dardis and the late great Eugene Hayes.
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