Mark Sheehan praised by Irish president Michael D Higgins for ‘originality and excellence’
Less than a day after his death was announced, Mark Sheehan has been praised by Irish president Michael D Higgins for his “originality and excellence”.
Mark Sheehan has been praised by Irish president Michael D Higgins for his “originality and excellence”.
The 81-year-old leader paid tribute to The Script’s late guitarist on Saturday (15.04.23), less than a day after Mark’s death aged 46 was announced by the Irish group, who said on Friday night he had died in hospital after a “brief illness”.
Mr Higgins, 81, posted in a length message on Instagram marked “Statement by President Higgins on the death of Mark Sheehan”: “All those who knew Mark Sheehan, and those millions more who enjoyed and appreciated his music, will have been deeply shocked to hear of his too-early death.
“It was a mark of the originality and excellence that Mark and his bandmates in The Script sought that they saw such success across the world, including six number one albums in the UK and a number three album in the United States – a truly remarkable achievement.
“It was a great honour and a privilege when I had the opportunity of hosting Mark and The Script when they performed at Áras an Uachtaráin (the official residence of the Irish president) in 2013 as part of my initiative ‘Glaoch – The President’s Call’, which celebrated Irish creativity and its reach and impact across the world.
“Through their music, Mark and The Script have played an outstanding part in continuing and promoting this proud tradition of Irish musical success across the world.
“While Mark will be missed by so many, it is his family who will of course experience the greatest loss. May I extend my deepest sympathies to Mark’s wife Rina, to his children Cameron, Avery, Lil and Bria, to his bandmates in The Script, and to all his family and friends.”
Mr Higgins signed off the message with “Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam” – Irish for “Rest in peace”.
Mark had taken time away from music in the months leading up to his death to nurture his family.
His best friend, Script frontman Danny O’Donoghue, 42, revealed last May how his beloved bandmate needed a break from being the “engine” of the group they co-founded to be with his wife Rina, who Mark married when he was 25 and with whom he had three children.
Danny, who co-founded The Script in 2001 with Mark, told the Sunday World newspaper in May 2022 about his friend’s hiatus from music: “His children needed a father and his wife needed a husband.
“He’s been the engine of The Script for such a long time, (I told him) that, ‘If you want to take a bit of time out for your family you are more than welcome to, and I insist on you going and doing it.’
“He took a little bit of time off – ‘You get refreshed, then you come back with a new zest for life.’
“And I believe it was the best thing that could have happened for all of us.”