Leo Brennan, father of Enya and members of Clannad, died on Wednesday morning. Mr Brennan, who was aged 90, had been ill for some time and died at home in Gweedore, Co Donegal surrounded by his family.
A credible musician in his own right, Leo Brennan was famous throughout his county of Donegal. He 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 – Mr Brennan 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.
In 2001, he received a Hall of Fame award at a function hosted annually to recognise the contribution of Donegal people to the county down the years.
Mr Brennan is survived by his wife Máire ‘Baba’ Brennan and their children Moya, Ciarán, Pól, Deirdre, Leon, Enya, Olive, Bartley and Brídín. The funeral will take place at St Mary’s Chapel, Derrybeg, Co Donegal at 12 noon, on Friday June 24th.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Enya’s father, Mr Leo Brennan. Enya had the opportunity to be with her father during his last days. Leo died peacefully this morning at home, surrounded by his family.
Our thoughts are with Enya at his time. Enya and her family request privacy during this time, as you will understand.
Some of you might have heard already, but my dear dad, Leo, passed away on Wednesday morning. All the family were with him, and we’re so thankful that it was a peaceful end, and especially for all the love and tributes that have been pouring in. Mx