- 17 Dec 21
The sad news has emerged of the death of Leon Brennan – one of the renowned family of musicians from Gweedore in Donegal that has given us not just Clannad, but also the enduring star that is Enya.
Hot Press is greatly saddened to hear of the death of Leon Brennan, who was a key man with the Donegal maestros, Clannad. Leon is one of the famous music-making Brennans of Gweedore – a family that includes Moya Brennan, brothers Pól and Ciaran Brennan (all of Clannad) and Enya.
The news was made public this morning by Moya, who expressed her grief via a Twitter post.
"I'm heartbroken,” she said, "my dear brother Leon passed away this morning surrounded by family. I know he touched the lives of many people around the world, and he will be missed so very much.”
Leon was very much a part of the Clannad family, having worked with the band for 35 years, both on the road as tour and production manager, and handling their merchandise operation.
The band are among the most successful in the history of Irish contemporary music, selling in excess of 20 million albums. They scored the first ever Irish language Top 10 hit in the UK with the Theme from Harry’s Game’. They remain among the most popular Irish groups across the continent of Europe. Moya has also had a successful solo career, while Enya has carved out an extraordinary career, selling in excess of 80million albums to date.
The family pub, Leo’s Tavern, is known as a centre of music in the Irish-speaking Gweedore area of Donegal. The pub is closed as a mark of respect to Leon.
“I want to extend our condolences to the Brennan family,” Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. “Leon gave his life to Clannad, and was a vital part of the extraordinary musical adventure which brought so much joy to music lovers over the past 50 years. While the musicians are thrust into the limelight, and rightfully win the plaudits, the work that goes on behind the scenes is also absolutely vital. Leon was an integral part of that for Moya and the gang, and will be hugely missed by the Clannad family. May he rest in peace."
Dicker Event Tech sent their condolences by Tweet: "Sincere Condolences Moya and the Brennan Family. I first met Leon in 1979, he was working with Nicky Ryan at Brittas Bay Folk Festival. I was 13, Leon explained the BOSE PA System. An inspirational chat, I never forgot it, nor will I ever forget Leon. Mile Buiochas."
So also did producer Chris O’Brien: "So sorry to hear this Máire, he was always a gentleman. Deepest condolences to you and all the family.”
And long-time record company and PR man Freddie Middleton added his voice.
"Very very sad news. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all the Brennan Family and their extended families. Leon and I had many long phone conversations during my RCA days. May he Rest in Peace."