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Emmett Gill
Death of piper Liam O’Flynn – Honorary President of Na Píobairí Uilleann

14 March 2018

Na Píobairí Uilleann (The Society of Uilleann Pipers) announces the death of its Honorary President Liam O’Flynn. During his life Liam was a great ambassador for Irish traditional music throughout Ireland and around the world. Liam was a wonderful musician, as a solo uilleann piper and as a member of Planxty in the 1970s and 1980s.

Liam’s collaborations with Seán Davey included performing in the suite of music The Brendan Voyage and other pioneering orchestral works created to feature the uilleann pipes. His performances with such artists as Kate Bush, Emmylou Harris, and Mark Knopfler brought his music and uilleann piping to worldwide audiences. Liam’s collaboration with poet the Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney united two of Ireland’s artistic giants.

From a musical family in County Kildare, Liam learned the pipes with Leo Rowsome at the School of Music in Dublin, and was also greatly influenced by the playing of legendary pipers Willie Clancy and Séamus Ennis. He has been an inspiration to generations of pipers, with his tuition, performances, and solo recordings being a great source of repertoire for emerging players.

Liam was a founding member of Na Píobairí Uilleann, having attended and performed at the first gathering of the organisation in Bettystown, County Meath, in 1968.

Na Píobairí Uilleann extends its sympathies to Liam’s wife Jane and to his extended family. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Emmett Gill
Scholarships 2018
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Na Píobairí Uilleann will award six piping scholarships for 2018.

Successful applicants can attend piping classes at any of the following :

  • Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy – Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare
  • South Sligo Summer School – Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo,
  • Scoil Acla – Cashel, Achill Island, Co. Mayo
  • Joe Mooney Summer School – Drumshambo, Co. Leitrim.
  • Catskills Irish Arts Week – East Durham , N.Y.
  • Ceol na Coille – Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Application must by supported by recordings of solo piping by the applicant.

See application form for terms and conditions.

Closing date for NPU Summer School Scholarships is Friday 27th April 2018

To download the NPU Scholarship Application form - Scholarship Application Form 2018

Oineach Mhuiris Uí Rócháin

Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy will again award Oineach Mhuiris Uí Rócháin, a Family Scholarship in honour of Muiris Ó Rócháín.


Oineach Mhuiris Uí Rócháin is open to any family with two or more family members wishing to attend classes at the Summer School. Oineach Mhuiris Uí Rócháin will entitle the family to use of a three bedroom house during Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and free access to classes for up to four family members either adults or children.

The committee of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy have again asked Na Píobairí Uilleann to review the applications and award the scholarship.

To download the application form Click Here and email to emmett@pipers.ie or post to

Oineach Mhuiris Uí Rócháin
Na Píobairí Uilleann
15 Henrietta St.
Dublin 1

Closing date for applications is 27th April 2018 and the Oineach Mhuiris Uí Rócháin scholarship will be awarded in May 2018.

Sabhbh Ni Mhaolagain
Sound of Ireland

A stellar line-up from the world of Irish traditional music, song and dance celebrate UNESCO recognition of Uilleann Piping


Leading artists including Noel Hill, Liam O’Connor, Seán McKeon, Paddy Glackin, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Robbie Hannan, Jimmy Canavan, the Rowsome Quartet and many more will feature in this unique performance which will be attended by Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins.

Last December, UNESCO  included Uilleann Piping on its Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This important global accolade reflects heritage cultural practices that are considered to enrich all of humanity. UNESCO has now agreed that Irish Uilleann Piping – often referred to as ‘The Sound of Ireland’ – merits this recognition.

Uilleann Piping is the first Irish element to be recognised by UNESCO, and the campaign for inscription on the Representative List was led by Na Píobairí Uilleann, who lobbied for Irish ratification of the UNESCO Convention, and assisted the Irish Government in preparing the nomination.


FOR TICKETS SEE : https://www.abbeytheatre.ie/whats-on/the-sound-of-ireland/

poster final soi

Sabhbh Ni Mhaolagain
Vacancy Assistant Co-ordinator Music Generation Laois








Laois County Council wishes to invite applications from suitably qualified persons for inclusion on a panel which is being established to fill the vacancy for the position of:


Assistant Co-ordinator Music Generation Laois (temporary contract)


Further particulars and application forms are available from:



  • Human Resources Section, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, County Laois.

Tel: 057-8664000; Email: humanresources@laoiscoco.ie.


Applications, on the official application form, must be received not later than

12 noon on Friday 12th January 2018.


Laois County Council is an equal opportunities employer.





Rosa Flannery

Co-ordinator, Music Generation Laois

Laois County Council

Áras an Chontae


Co. Laois


T: 057 8664078

E: rflannery@laoiscoco.ie


Sabhbh Ni Mhaolagain
NPU Annual Tionól

The NPU Annual Tionól will be held in 15 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1  (Headquarters) May 24th to 27th 2018. Below is a list of accommodation in the surrounding area for the Tionól. More details about events and classes will be posted at a later date. Suggestions of hotels, hostels and B&B’s are welcome and can be emailed to info@pipers.ie

Castle Hotel Gardiner  Row/Great Denmark St, D1 Dublin, Ireland http://www.castle-hotel.ie/ 
The Charles Stewart 5/6 Parnell Square East, D1 Dublin, Ireland www.charlesstewart.ie/ 
The Gresham Hotel 23 O’Connell Street Upper, North City, Dublin, D01 C3W7 www.gresham-hotels-dublin.com/Plaza-Hotels/Dublin‎ 
Maldron Smithfield Smithfield Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 RF2Y http://www.maldronhotelsmithfield.com/ 
Maldron Parnell Street Parnell Square W, Rotunda, Dublin 1 http://www.maldronhotelparnellsquare.com/ 
Jurys Inn Moore Street Plaza, Parnell St, Dublin 1, D01 E0H3 https://www.jurysinns.com/hotels/dublin/parnell-street 
Belvedere Hotel 1 Denmark Street Great, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 PP66 http://www.belvederehoteldublin.com/ 
Cassidys Cavendish Row, Upper O’Connell Street, Rotunda, Dublin 1 http://www.cassidyshotel.com/ 
Holiday Inn Express 28-32 O’Connell Street Upper, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 T2X2 https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/gb/en/reservation 
Charleville Lodge 268-272 North Circular Road, Phibsborough, Dublin, D07 DT61 www.charlevillelodge.ie/ 
The Gate Hotel 80 – 81 Parnell Street, D1 Dublin, Ireland www.gatehoteldublin.com/
The Morrison Dublin Ormond Quay Lower, D1 Dublin, Ireland https://www.morrisonhotel.ie/ 
Handels Hotel Temple 16-18 Fishamble Street, Temple Bar, D2 Dublin www.thekeycollection.ie/handelshotel.html 
Harveys Guest House 11 Upper Gardiner Street, D1 Dublin, Ireland www.harveysguesthouse.com/ 
Marian Guest House 21 Upper Gardiner Street, D1 Dublin, Ireland www.marianguesthouse.ie 
Fleet Street Hotel 19/20 Fleet Street, D2 Dublin, Ireland https://www.fleethoteltemplebar.com/ 
The Morgan Hotel 10 Fleet Street, D2 Dublin, Ireland www.themorgan.com/ 
Fitzsimons Hotel Temple Bar 21-22 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland https://www.fitzsimonshotel.com/ 
Wynn’s Hotel 35-39 Lower Abbey Street, D1 Dublin www.wynnshotel.ie/ 
Arlington Hotel O’Connell Bridge 23-25 Bachelors Walk, O’Connell Bridge, D1 Dublin https://www.arlington.ie/ 
The Aisling Hotel Parkgate St, Arran Quay, Dublin 8 www.ashlinghotel.ie/

Emmett Gill
UNESCO Recognition for Uilleann Piping – Update

Following the announcement of UNESCO recognition for uilleann piping, here are links to some of the media coverage.



RTE TV 6 O’Clock News, Thursday, December 7, 2017


(see Gay McKeon interview clip within the link)



Newstalk FM, Thursday, December 7, 2017


RTE Radio 1 John Bowman Sunday, Sunday, December 10, 2017



RTE Radio 1 Sean O’Rourke Show (starts at 35:40)


RTE Radio 1 Arena, Wednesday, December 20, 2017



The Irish News, Thursday, December 7. 2017


The Irish Times, Friday, December 8, 2017

The Irish Independent, Friday, December 8, 2017

Irish Daily Star, Friday, December 8, 2017

(see images below  for the above picture stories)

The Irish Times, Wednesday, December 13, 2017



RTE.ie, Thursday, December 7, 2017


The Journal.ie, Thursday, December 7, 2017


Extra.ie, Thursday, December 7, 2017




Irish Central, Friday, December 8, 2017


The Irish World, Wednesday, December 13, 2017




Donegal Now, Thursday, December 7, 2017


Clare FM, Thursday, December 7, 2017


Go Dublin, Thursday, December 7, 2017




 NPULouiseMulcahy 45 sec.m4v


The Irish Independent, Friday, December 8, 2017


Irish Daily Star, Friday, December 8, 2017


The Irish Times, Friday, December 8, 2017



l-r Niamh Landale, Brendan Gleeson, Irial Ó Casaide and Gay McKeon, CEO, pipers.ie in the background


l-r foreground Irial Ó Casaide, Brendan Gleeson and Niamh Landale
l-r background Gay McKeon, CEO, pipers.ie and Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD


l-r Irial O’Casaide, Gay McKeon, CEO, pipers.ie, Brendan Gleeson and Niamh Landale


l-r Niamh Landale and Brendan Gleeson


l-r Niamh Landale, Christine Sisk, Director, Culture Ireland, Brendan Gleeson and Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD and Irial Ó Casaide


Emmett Gill
UNESCO Recognition for Uilleann Piping

 Worldwide recognition for Irish Pipes,

“The Sound of Ireland”, in new accolade from UNESCO

The UNESCO twelfth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, in the Republic of Korea’s Jeju island has ratified its decision to include Uilleann Piping on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

This important global accolade reflects heritage cultural practices that are considered to enrich all of humanity. UNESCO has now agreed that Irish Uilleann Piping – often referred to as “The Sound of Ireland” – merits this recognition. As a result, the distinctive Irish musical art-form joins such other cultural expressions as the Argentinian Tango, the Armenian Duduk and its music, and the Baul songs of Bangladesh.

Older than Guinness, the Uilleann Pipes descend from an instrument introduced in the 1740’s and were known as “The Irish Pipes”. A sophisticated instrument that provides more musical possibilities than any other type of bagpipe due to three different streams of sound, Uilleann Piping declined in the 19th century and was successfully revived in the 20th century.

Now in 2017, it’s a thriving art form in both Ireland and worldwide where it is celebrated in 50 countries and on six continents in places as diverse as Cuba, Finland, Australia, Argentina and Germany. There are more than three thousand Uilleann Pipers throughout the world, playing Irish music on this Irish instrument in dedicated clubs throughout Europe and in North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Na Píobairí Uilleann (www.pipers.ie), the body dedicated to access, education, performance and preservation of Uilleann Piping and pipemaking, has announced free access to its online learning and performance portal in addition to a fascinating archive celebrating a rich cultural history http://pipers.ie/source/

The UNESCO announcement follows the Irish Government’s nomination of Uilleann Piping to the List.  Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD said: “Today’s decision is testament to the community of Uilleann Pipers across the country who, since the 1960s, have succeeded in their mission to stop the decline in the playing and making of the uilleann pipes. The success today is a real community effort from Na Píobairí Uilleann, Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, the Armagh Pipers Club, and other organisations and individuals who have contributed to the resurgence of interest in Uilleann Piping, in Ireland and around the world.”

“Ar an lá stairiúil seo, cuimhnímís ar na píobairí iomráiteacha a choinnigh an traidisiún seo beo – leithéidí Eamonn Ceannt, Willie Clancy, Seamus Ennis agus daoine nach iad. Is cinnte go mbeadh siad bródúil inniu as a gcuid oibre thar na blianta.”

Gay McKeon CEO of Na Píobairí Uilleann (www.pipers.ie) and himself a celebrated player said: “Today is a global milestone for Uilleann Piping and shines a world-wide spotlight on The Irish Pipes. From movies to TV and now video games, there are new opportunities opening up all the time that showcase the versatility of the instrument and its distinctive sound.

We thank supporters for their enthusiasm and would encourage people to discover the pleasure of playing and attending performances at home and abroad.

“Na Píobairí Uilleann would like to thank the Irish Government for its UNESCO nomination and those officials of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht who accepted the case that was made for the nomination of Uilleann Piping, and who energetically promoted that cause. Also, the Arts Council /An Chomhairle Ealaoin have been an invaluable source of support throughout the process and in our daily work.

Finally, we would like to thank the many groups and individual practitioners in the world of Uilleann Piping who support us – it’s an inspiring world-wide, community devoted to this wonderful music.”

You can view the UNESCO proceedings here:



Sabhbh Ni Mhaolagain
Christmas Latest Dates of Posting 2017

  Standard PostLetters Standard PostParcels
  December December
Ireland 20th 20th
Northern Ireland 19th 19th
Great Britain 18th 15th
Europe 18th 13th
USA 12th 7th
Rest of the World 7th  7th 
Sabhbh Ni Mhaolagain
Breathnach Commemoration Live Broadcast

The Breathnach Commemoration lecture and recital will be broadcast live on NPUTV on Saturday 2nd from 8pm. The lecture is by Terry Moylan on The Irish Pipes in Art and the recital is with Leo Rickard,Colm Broderick and John O’Brien.

Emmett Gill
Music Generation Laois Tionól 2017


Tionól 2017, 3-5 November

Following on from the success of last year’s Tionól, we are delighted to announce that Music Generation Laois, with the support of the Music Generation National Development Office National Projects funding and the Trench Trust, will deliver a Tionól for Harps and Pipes in Portlaoise from the 3 to the 5 November 2017.

The purpose of this weekend is to bring together pipers and harpists and their Tutors from Music Generations throughout Ireland, for a weekend of workshops, sessions and performances, including an opportunity for students to get workshops from well-known non MG guest tutors including Catriona McKay (harp), David Power (pipes), Tríona Marshall (harp) & Michael Rooney (harp).

A range of classes are available, open to all students from recent beginners to advanced in the harp and uilleann pipes. Tutors include:

Harp: Siobhan Buckley, Michael Rooney, Catriona McKay, Tríona Marshall, Ramune Sakalauskaite, Deirdre Ní Bhuachalla and Gráinne Hambly

Uilleann Pipes: Fionnán MacGabhann, Joseph Byrne, David Power, Timothy Doyle and Paul Harrigan


€70 fee includes workshops and all concert tickets. To book, email musicgenerationlaois@laoiscoco.ie or phone 057-8664176.


Under 18s will be supervised during break times unless alternative arrangements are made by parents/guardians.


Friday 3 November

Opening Gala Concert featuring the premiere of a newly composed suite of music by Michael Rooney for the Music Generation Laois Harp Orchestra, Tionól Tutors, Michael and June Rooney and the Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra taking place in the Portlaoise Further Education & Training Centre, Tower Hill at 7pm.

Free admission to students of the Tionól/ General public €5. Booking through the Dunamaise Arts Centre 057 8663355 or Dunamaise.ie

Saturday 4 November

Concert featuring Tionól participants from across Ireland and guest harp ensembles in the Dunamaise Arts Centre at 7pm.

Free admission to students of the Tionól/ General public €5. Booking through the Dunamaise Arts Centre 057 8663355 or Dunamaise.ie

Sunday 5 November

Closing Student Concert: Tionól 2017 – featuring students from the Tionól taking place in the Portlaoise Further Education and Training Centre, Tower Hill, Portlaoise, 2pm.

Admission free of charge, on a first come-first serve basis on the door.