The co-founder and guitarist of Irish rock band The Script, Mark Sheehan, has died.
The 46-year-old died in hospital on Friday following a brief illness, the band announced.
Sheehan formed the group in 2001 alongside vocalist Danny O’Donoghue and drummer Glen Power.
A statement on the band’s social media pages said Sheehan was a “much loved husband, father, brother, band mate and friend.”
It asked fans to respect the privacy of his family and bandmates.
Ireland’s president Michael D Higgins said Sheehan was an “outstanding” example of Irish musical success on the world stage.
“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,” he said.
Contemporaries of Sheehan’s in the entertainment industry were quick to honour his memory.
In a statement posted on Instagram, Irish presenter Laura Whitmore wrote: “Thinking of you all at this time.
“Mark was one of the nicest and most talented men you could meet.”
Fellow Irish rock band Kodaline have also paid tribute, posting on Twitter: “So sorry to hear (of) the passing of Mark Sheehan.”
In an Instagram tribute, Irish pop duo Jedward said: “Everyone in the Irish music industry and worldwide mourn your loss RIP Mark such a talented musician from The Script one of the most iconic Irish groups of our generation.”
| Fellow musicians and celebrities have come forward to pay tribute to Mark Sheehan
Sheehan was born on 29 October 1976 in Dublin in Mount Brown in The Liberties area, and was married to Reena Sheehan with whom he had three children.
He was a singer, songwriter and guitarist, and passionate about music from a young age.
From 1996-2001 he was a member of the band Mytown, alongside The Script’s frontman O’Donoghue.
The Script started in Dublin in 2001 with Sheehan as guitarist, O’Donoghue as singer songwriter and Power as drummer.
The band moved to London after signing a record contract with Sony Music Group.
It was there that they released their first full album, ‘We Cry’, which went on to reach number one in both Ireland and the UK.
After that their next three albums Science & Faith, #3 and No Sound Without Silence, all topped the album charts in both countries.
Science & Faith reached number three in the United States and number two in Australia.
Since then the band have continued to tour the world and release original music albums, combining Irish themes with pop-rock nuances.
They have been known for their writing from the heart, including ‘If You Could See Me Now’, addressing the death of vocalist O’Donoghue’s father and both of Sheehan’s parents.
Fans over the last year have wondered why Sheehan had a short break from the stage.
In 2022, Sheehan missed the US leg of the band’s tour. O’Donoghue told the media that his bandmate had taken a break to spend time with his family.
He explained to Sunday World that the group were supportive of Sheehan’s decision and described them as a “a band of brothers” who “stick together no matter what.”
In 2013, The Script had a brush with royalty, when the Queen visited the BBC’s Broadcasting House and watched a performance by The Script, briefly chatting with singer O’Donoghue.
Sheehan said when he was told about the royal engagement, he thought “people were playing a joke on us.”
The Script are scheduled to support the American artist P!nk during her European tour later this year.