Popular musician and singer Ray Dunne dies suddenly

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The funeral is to take place tomorrow of well known musician and singer Ray Dunne who died suddenly this week.

Ray, who played locally, was a popular figure in the music circuit and had been a member of the Armagh Rhymers.

Though originally from Athy, Co Kildare, Ray, a father of one, made Armagh his home.

Close friend and Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Councillor, Garath Keating, said: “Ray was a tremendous musician and the news of his untimely death is heartbreaking.

“He was a joyful and colourful character, who brought a smile to the faces of people around him with his musical performances.

“He will be fondly remembered and my thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

At the tender age of 15 Ray started playing gigs with his band Seanchai.

Then aged 21, Ray moved to Portugal where he played solo gigs on the Irish circuit in the Algarve before heading to Liverpool.

He soon established himself on the Irish Circuit.

In 2008 Ray released the single “Nothing Left to say” off the album and did a nationwide tour across Ireland. The tour gained great reviews and Ray received a lot of media attention performing on the country’s leading radio stations.

It was also the same year where he played at Glastonbury to a packed tent.

In 2009 Ray was one of the headline acts at City of Song Festival in Derry and he also performed at the Playhouse theatre. He has since performed at the Liverpool Irish Festival.

He joined with the Armagh Rhymers in 2011 and performed to audiences including a TV appearance on RTE’s Nationwide along with a tour across the UK from Glasgow to London, as well as The Baltic States.

He is the son of Michael and the late Christine Dunne, husband of Jayne and devoted father of Conor. He had five siblings, Evelyn, Sandra, Michael, Audrey and Niall.

He is also uncle to Hope, Christine, Kate, Oisin, Laura and Dylan.

He will be deeply missed by his loving family, relatives, friends and neighbours.

Ray’s remains will be reposing at Rigney’s Funeral Home, Athy from 6pm Thursday with Rosary Thursday evening at 8pm. Removal on Friday at 10.30am to arrive at St. Michael’s Parish Church, Athy for Requiem Mass at 11am. Burial afterwards in St. Michael’s new Cemetery, Athy.