Mark Sheehan, co-founder and guitarist for the Irish pop band The Script, died after a brief illness, the Daily Caller reported. His bandmates announced the news Friday that the 46-year-old had passed away, leaving a wife and three children.
"Much loved husband, father, brother, bandmate and friend Mark Sheehan passed away today in hospital after a brief illness," the band posted on its official Twitter. "The family and group ask fans to respect their privacy at this tragic time."
The specifics of Sheehan's illness have not been released. In recent years, Sheehan took time away from the band, including stepping away from part of their tour in America in 2021 and 2022, People reported.
"His children needed a father, and his wife needed a husband," the band's co-founder Danny O'Donoghue said. Sheehan was devoted to his wife, Rina, and their children, Cameron, Avery, and Lil.
"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," Donoghue said. He said Sheehan came back from this time away "refreshed."
The band had been together since 2001 and had commercial success in its two decades of making music. The Script began with childhood friends Sheehan, O'Donoghue, and Glen Power in 2001 as a recreation of their former band, Mytown.
They went on to record six studio albums, including their self-titled debut which reached No. 1 in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Their most successful hits included the songs "Hall of Fame," "Breakeven," and "The Man Who Can't Be Moved."
Their last album together was in 2019 with "Sunsets & Full Moons." The band had recently announced it would join American artist Pink during the portion of her tour in the UK.
A lengthy statement from Irish President Michael D Higgins is a testament to Sheehan's impact on his fatherland, the Daily Caller reported. "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," Higgins said.
"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," Higgins added. "It was a great honor and a privilege when I had the opportunity of hosting Mark and The Script when they performed at Aras an Uachtarain 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," Higgins continued. "While Mark will be missed by so many, it is his family who will, of course, experience the greatest loss," he added.
"May I extend my deepest sympathies to Mark's wife, Rina, to his children Cameron, Avery, and Lil, to his bandmates in The Script, and to all his family and friends," Higgins concluded. The Sheehans had been married for 17 years and were private people despite Mark's public career.
Rina, a Texan, met Mark while working with the band as a studio backup singer. The pair married in 2005 in a private ceremony and started their family in 2008.
Without further details about Mark Sheehan's passing, it's difficult to know what happened to cause a young man in his prime to pass away. Regardless of how he died, his family, his country, and the music world will surely miss him.