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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cle-loving Irish band the Prodigals in mourning

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Gregory Greene
  • Gregory Greene
Sad news from Gregory Grene, frontman for Celt-rockers The Prodigals:

To let you know: the band will be on hiatus for the next few weeks. My twin brother, an extraordinary, funny, brilliant, charming and deeply kind man was working with the United Nations in Haiti when the quake struck. He, along with many of his colleagues, and many more of the Haitian people, lost his life in that tragedy.

We will be taking him home to Ireland to lay him to rest in Belturbet with my father. The timeline is still being worked out amid the logistics of the disaster.

I am struggling to get through this. The only consolation for the insane bitterness of the loss, is the extraordinary beauty and love with which he endowed my life, as he did every one of his family, every day.

While I wrote songs, he created peace. I think there is no question which is the nobler, greater mission. He worked for that cause in some of the most dangerously precarious situations, in the Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Eritrea. He helped to broker the historic peaceful transition of power from Indonesia to an independent East Timor. In his final posting he worked passionately, lovingly, with unwavering courage and with an unshakeable belief in the country and the people of Haiti. Yet let him walk into Paddy Reilly's and he instantly became the fan of fans, grinning broadly and gazing up at me (may God bless his kindness!) as though I were a paragon that shone a light across the world.

I will never feel the like of that gaze again, but please God may I carry it in my heart forever.

Though based in New York, the Prodigals have a long and strong connection with Cleveland: their 2005 live album was recorded at the Beachland, and in recent years they've played the Cleveland House of Blues on St. Patrick's Day. No word yet on whether the hiatus will affect this year's show. — Frank Lewis

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