Shea sadly passed away Sept. 30, 2005)
SHEA Cribben, lead singer with the Riviera Showband in the 1960s, died in St. Francis Hospice, Raheny, Dublin on Friday afternoon.
He had been in ill health for some time but retained a marvellous spirit to the end.
A native of Kilkelly, Co. Mayo, Shea (61) fronted the pop style Riviera who had a sizeable following back in the showband days.
They undertook several tours of England in the mid-to late 1960s.
Shea’s single Love and the Country, which he co-wrote with band member Malachy Tiernan, was a popular hit and received several plays on Radio Eireann at the time.
He had lived in Dublin for many years where he operated a highly successful insurance business. In more recent times, Shay did a degree in music and had planned to record a CD of church music.
His last interview was back at the end of July when he was a guest of John Egan on the Showband Show on Mid-West Radio.
A man of a deeply religious, spiritual and philosophical nature, he told his brother Fr. J.T., who ministers near Preston, Lancashire, on Sunday, September 25 in St. Francis Hospice that “the human voice is the most beautiful of musical instruments.’
Shea said: “For me as a believing person, my growth in the deepest things has followed parallel lines to my journeying in the Bel Canto Singing School.
“When one gets to the heart, the beauty within a person is like what you find in a honed precious stone; there is something different. But like freedom within, it was always there. It is unique. You do not copy the greatest art in the world.”
Close on 1,500 people attended the funeral Mass in Holy Trinity Church, Donaghmeade, Dublin on Monday evening while there was another capacity congregation in Kilkelly Church on Tuesday afternoon prior to burial in Urlaur Abbey cemetery in his home county.
Shea is deeply regretted by his wife Valerie, daughters Sonya and Nikki, brother Fr. J.T., sister Annie (Canada), special friend Martine, relatives and many friends.