President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to arts patron and co-founder of Claddagh records Garech de Brún, who has died aged 78.

The President said in a statement: "The passing of Garech de Brún will be heard with great sadness by all those interested in the performance and recording of Irish music, song and poetry."

A member of the extended Guinness family, De Brún lived most of his life at his house "Luggala" in Co Wicklow and played host to many leading lights from the worlds of acting, publishing and music, including Mick Jagger and Sean O’Riada.

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He was also a friend and patron of Dublin-born artist Francis Bacon and in 2017 appeared in the BBC documentary Francis Bacon: A Brush with Violence.

London socialite Tara Browne, who died in 1966, was one of his younger brothers and his death is often cited as an inspiration for The Beatles' song A Day in the Life. Browne is buried on the shore of Lough Tay.

De Brún also played a pivotal role in the formation of The Chieftains in 1962, after he asked his friend Paddy Moloney to form a group for a one-off album on Claddagh Records, the traditional Irish music label de Brún founded with Ivor Browne in 1959. 

Miriam O'Callaghan pictured at Luggala with Garech de Brún, Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains and film director John Boorman