IRISH singer Imelda May has paid an emotional tribute to her father after he passed away in hospital.
The singer’s dad, Tony Clabby, was admitted to hospital late last year, with May previously revealing how he had been in good spirits following his admission.
However, in a social media post in the early hours of Sunday, she wrote that he had told her he would soon be reunited with his late wife, saying: “It’s time to go to Madge.”
“Our dearest father Tony Clabby has passed away on this fine day, the 12th day of Christmas, Nollaig na mBán, Little Christmas, the Epiphany, and the day of the Kings,” May posted on Instagram.
“After three sacred days of gathering, holding, laughing, accepting, harmonising and loving he passed gently.
“We are heartbroken but truly grateful.
“More than anyone I’ve ever met, Dad was pure LOVE.
“As he said himself only hours ago, he’s had a great time, it’s time to go easy, it’s time to go to Madge.
“And true love lives forever.”
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May’s mother Madge passed away just over two years ago in November 2021 at the age of 94.
The Dublin singer had been updating fans on Instagram on her father’s progress after being hospitalised in late October, posting in early November that he was ‘joking and smiling’.
He was released in mid-November shortly before celebrating his 91st birthday but was subsequently readmitted.
However, May revealed that he was released from isolation in time to have his family around him for Christmas.
‘An amazing man’
Friends and fans offered their condolences to May following the news of her father’s passing.
Presenter and fellow Dubliner Laura Whitmore posted: “Imelda I’m so sorry. What an amazing man, and you and your family are his legacy.”
Musician Declan O’Rourke, who performed with May at Shane MacGowan’s recent funeral, wrote: “Great condolences for a great man, but the great love affair you all shared is one that will go on forever no doubt Imelda.”
Meanwhile, singer Wallis Bird added: “Sending you my heart’s warmth. Your Dad looks like he was very lovely and great craic, may he rest easy.”