Taoiseach Leo Varadkar led the tributes to singer and Aslan frontman Christy Dignam following the disclosure that he had passed away on Tuesday afternoon.
He made his comments following a meeting with the Luxembourg Prime Minister on Tuesday evening. Mr Varadkar described the Finglas singer as “a legend of Irish music and a great Dubliner as well. He is somebody whose loss will be very sorely felt in his home town and also in the wider music community. So I am really sorry to hear this news and want to pass on my condolences to his family and friends.”
Tánaiste and former Taoiseach Micháel Martin also expressed deep sadness on hearing of Christy’s death. “A true legend of Irish music, Christy has left a rich legacy. His great talent brought much joy to the Irish people. His brave and dignified battle with cancer inspired many,” he said.
Green Deputy Leader and Minister for Arts, Catherine Martin stressed that her thoughts were with the Dignams family, bandmates, friends, and fans “on this sad day. His strength, character, and talent will always be remembered every time we hear his iconic singing voice,” the Minister wrote on Twitter.
Music impresario and international TV panellist Louis Walsh spoke of Christy great natural talent.
“He had a great career in Ireland which is a hard thing to do. Songs like Crazy World and This Is will go on forever – they’re like anthems now,” he claimed.
“Everybody knew him and everybody liked him as well. He never got carried away by his fame as well, which is unusual in this industry. He was just a normal Dublin guy with a great talent, and his songs will be remembered for years to come,” he told Independent.ie.
“I admired him and always thought he should have been an international star, but he always seemed to have been happy living in Dublin and there’s a lot to be said for that too.”
Social Democrats Dail Deputy Róisín Shortall praised the star for “staying true to his Finglas roots and was much loved and respected by people of the area. Apart from being an Irish music icon, Christy will be remembered for his honesty when talking about his personal struggles and the bravery with which he faced his cancer diagnosis. His loss will be deeply felt by anyone who knew him or those who were touched by his unique musical talent,” she stressed.
Labour Party Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin tweeted that the Aslan frontman was “our true Northside voice. He was magic. What a loss.”
Actor and fellow Dubliner Rory Cowan, formerly of Mrs Brown’s Boys said: “My heart is very heavy. My old pal Christy Dignam has died. God love him. We lost a fabulous Dubliner today.”
Ryan Tubridy, who did the last interview with the star for his RTE Radio show and Late, Late show in April, was told then by Christy that he planned to squeeze every drop out of his life until his heart stopped.
Afterwards the duo had a photo taken together which the 50-year-old presenter shared on Istagram on Tuesday with the simple message – ‘Rest in peace, Christy.’
Christy grew up in Finglas and it was 41 years ago when he formed the rock band Aslan with fellow musicians Alan Downey, Joe Jewell and Billy McGuinness, as well as Tony McGuinness, the band’s ex-bassist. In total the group released seven studio albums together as well as the 30th edition of the original album ‘Feel No Shame.’
The band also recorded a live album ‘made In Dublin’ at Vicar Street which became a No 1 hit 25 years ago as it went platinum to the power of three in Ireland.
However it was from the Goodbye Charlie Moonhead album recorded 29 years ago that the band’s most iconic and enduring number ‘Crazy World’ went orbital and like ‘this is’ is now embedded in the Irish psyche as a rock music classic.