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Brother of Prodigals’ frontman killed in Haiti

January 21, 2010 - Andy Gray
Irish folk/rock band Prodigals has a large following in northeast Ohio. The band plays the area frequently and even recorded a live album at the Beachland Ballroom a few years ago.

I interviewed accordion player/singer Gregory Grene when that record came out and still must be in his email address book, because this sad note appeared in my email today:

``To let you know: the band will be on hiatus for the next few weeks.

``My twin brother Andrew, 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.’’


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