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Clara Grunefeld
The Ace & Deuce of Piping Concert – Online this Year

Leading Irish musicians perform through film for annual Ace and Deuce concert

Saturday 3rd October 2020

Press release on behalf of Na Píobairí Uilllean (September 2020)

Photography available from

The Ace and Deuce of Piping annual concert of traditional Irish music will be staged through film this year, in an innovative departure by Na Píobairí Uilleann in response to the public health crisis.

Recorded in various locations around Ireland in August 2020, The Ace and Deuce of Piping was produced, directed and edited by film-maker and uilleann piper Maitiú Ó Casaide and will be available to watch on NPU’s website ( and social media platforms on Saturday 3rd October at 8 p.m. Viewing will be available until the 17th October.

Leading artists Mary Bergin, Mick Conneely, Anne Skelton, Néillidh Mulligan and Caoimhe Ní Mhaolagáin, Doireann Glackin, Sarah Flynn, Colm Broderick, Brian Lennon, Séamus Quinn and Ciarán Curran feature in this year’s line up with the event hosted by Síle Denvir.

The Ace and Deuce concert is one of the most important annual events for the performance of traditional music, song and dance and is normally staged in Dublin’s iconic Liberty Hall Theatre.

The production necessitated a significant investment on the part of Na Píobairí Uilleann and will be available online free of charge. However, in lieu of the normal ticket sales for the concert, NPU has asked that audience members would support the event through voluntary donations.

Speaking about the decision to host the event through film, Na Píobairí Uilleann chief executive Gay McKeon commented, “The Ace and Deuce is a landmark event for traditional music and we felt that in the current environment it was absolutely imperative to provide a platform for the artists and bring their performances to the audience through film.

“I’d like to thank all the artists for participating in the Ace and Deuce project, Maitiú Ó Casaide for pulling the production together, sound engineer John Blake and cinematographer Victor Tzelepis.”

If you enjoy and appreciate this performance and would like to further support the work of Na Píobairí Uilleann, go to and click “join us”.


Colm Broderick – uilleann pipes

Carlow-born Colm Broderick began piping at 13 and is one of the country’s most exciting young talents. Having received tuition from Ciarán Somers, John Tuohy, David Power and Gay McKeon and at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, Colm featured on Na Píobairí Uilleann’s 2018 compilation CD of young pipers, A New Harvest.

He cites Leo Rowsome and Liam O’Flynn as the most significant influences on his music. It is therefore fitting that he is currently playing the 1936 set of Leo Rowsome pipes which were made famous by Liam O’Flynn, who performed on them for most of his life. The pipes are on loan to Colm from Na Píobairí Uilleann.

Sarah Flynn and Doireann Glackin – concertina and fiddle

Sarah Flynn (concertina) and Doireann Glackin (fiddle) are neighbours hailing from the north side of Dublin. Their 2018 recording The Housekeepers, produced as part of The Arts Council’s Deis Programme, has propelled this wonderful duet to the forefront of Irish music. The Housekeepers shines a light on the music and lives of six remarkable early 20th Century Irish Traditional Musicians; Ella Mae O’Dwyer, Nora Hurley, Aggie Whyte, Ellen Galvin, Molly Myers Murphy and Julia Clifford.

Sarah is drawn to the concertina and fiddle music of County Clare. Noel Hill, Mary MacNamara and Bobby Casey have greatly inspired her. Musicians from other regional styles including Ella Mae O’Dwyer and Jesse Smith have also influenced her playing.

Doireann meanwhile is a fiddler player and sean-nós singer. She learned the fiddle at an early age from her father, Kevin Glackin and she has been heavily influenced by the music of her family and her locality.

From her maternal family, the Ó Riadas of Cúil Aodha, she inherited a love for sean-nós singing. Doireann has been conducting research into the sean-nós singing tradition of the Muscraí Gaeltacht as part of a PhD at NUIG.

Glackin cites musicians such as Tommy Potts, John Kelly and Joe Ryan as her main influences.

Mary Bergin and Mick Conneely – whistle and bouzouki

Legendary whistle player Mary Bergin was born into a musical family in Shankill, Co. Dublin and has enjoyed an outstanding career in traditional music touring extensively worldwide. She has contributed to many great recordings both as a solo artist and with the group Dordán and her 1979 solo album Feadóga Stáin remains a stand-out classic.

In 2000, Mary won the prestigious ‘Traditional Musician of the Year’ Award.

Mick Conneely was born in Bedford with roots in Co. Galway where he now lives. As a child he attended classes with Brendan Mulkere, as well as learning at home from his father, Mick Snr.

He has played, toured and recorded with many artists, including playing fiddle with De Dannan periodically over a 22-year period from 1991–2013. In 2001 his debut solo album Selkie was released to critical acclaim on the Cló Iar-Chonnachta label.

Anne Skelton

Anne Skelton is a native of Claremorris, Co. Mayo though she has been living in Galway for almost 30 years. She began singing at the age of 8, learning songs from her father – John Kelly – a singer and step dancer who learnt in turn from his father and uncle.  Her style follows in the line of her mother’s family – the Murrays – who were all singers as well.  Anne’s singing also takes a lot from the Northern Singing Tradition, and she was influenced in particular by the music of Rita Gallagher and Róisín White.

She teaches at traditional summer schools throughout Ireland regularly and has participated in National Singing Projects such as Man, Woman and Child and the Birdsong Project. She guests regularly at Singing Festivals and Single Circle events.

Néillidh Mulligan and Caoimhe Ní Mhaolagáin – uilleann pipes and sean nós dancing

Néillidh Mulligan was born in Dublin into a family steeped in the traditional music of Co. Leitrim. His father, Tom Mulligan, was a renowned fiddle player and piper.

Néillidh received his first grounding in traditional music attending whistle lessons with Paidí Bán Ó Broin and Ned Stapleton at the Church Street club. His father Tom then “graduated” him to the pipes aged 11.

Néillidh attended classes with Leo Rowsome, who taught both in the School of Music on Chatham Row and in the Thomas Street Piper’s Club. Other influences included pipers Séamus Ennis and Tommy Reck, both of whom were friends of the Mulligan family.

He has released three solo CDs: Barr na Cúille, The Leitrim Thrush, and An Tobar Glé. More recently Néillidh was featured as part of Na Píobairí Uilleann’s Piper’s Choice series of DVDs alongside pipers Pádraig McGovern, and also Pat Broderick who passed away earlier this year and Na Píobairí Uilleann would like to remember Pat for his great dedication to the instrument.

Dublin-born Caoimhe Ní Mhaolagáin is Néillidh’s daughter. She is a fiddle player and sean-nós dancer. Caoimhe has developed her own distinct, original style, and with strong connections to West of Ireland, she has been influenced by the old traditional, Connemara dance style.

Brian Lennon, Seamus Quinn and Ciarán Curran – flute, fiddle, and bouzouki

Brian Lennon, son of the late Irish music giant Ben Lennon, plays flute, whistle and fiddle. He is a member of traditional group, Céide, and the recently-formed largely acapella group, Coda. He is also a former member of Cois Cladaigh chamber choir.

Fiddle player Seamus Quinn, from Derrygonnelly in Fermanagh, is a devotee of the great Sligo-Leitrim musicians who flourished in the 1920s and 30s in America such as the fiddle players Michael Coleman, James Morrison and Paddy Killoran. His own playing incorporates much of the lonesome, lilting lift that those great musicians brought to their music.

Ciarán Curran is a native of Kinawley, Co.Fermanagh. He too boasts a strong family tradition – his late uncle Ned Curran was a renowned fiddle player. Other influences include his friend Cathal McConnell, and of course Ben Lennon himself, to whom he attributes his strong backing rhythm and bounce. Along with Gabriel McArdle, Seamus and Ciarán recorded with Ben on the classic Dog Big Dog Little album, named after two mountains on the borders of County Fermanagh and Co Leitrim. Ciarán is perhaps best known as a longstanding member of the highly acclaimed band, Altan.

_____________________________ ENDS ____________________________________________

About Na Píobairí Uilleann

Na Píobairí Uilleann (NPU, the Society of Irish Pipers) was founded by uilleann pipers in 1968 in order to promote the uilleann pipes and its music, both products of Irish tradition and inspiration. In 1968 there were only an estimated 100 players of the instrument, around half in Ireland and the remainder spread across the world. Today NPU is a thriving arts organisation dedicated to Sharing the Sound of Ireland through Access, Education, Performance and Preservation, delivered through the organisation’s commitment to excellence in values, governance and processes.

Since 1979 NPU has been based in Dublin’s Henrietta Street, establishing a centre for piping and the other traditional arts with a focus on the study and practice of uilleann piping. NPU’s pipemaking training centre, PipeCraft opened in 2011 providing courses in uilleann pipe making.

NPU provide a regular programme of piping tuition, pipemaking tuition, music performances and publications, with a dedicated website for uilleann  pipers and traditional music lovers in Ireland and worldwide.

Na Píobairí Uilleann’s primary funding agencies include the Arts Council / An Comhairle Ealaíon, The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Dublin City Council.

Na Píobairí Uilleann, 15 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1, Ireland.

Phone: +353-1-8730093


Bunaíodh Na Píobairí Uilleann (NPU) in 1968 ag an am a cheaptar nach raibh ach thar ar 100 píobaire uilleann fágtha sa tír. Ach is eagraíocht atá faoi bhláth inniu í agus é mar aidhm aici Fuaim na hÉireann a Roinnt trí Rochtain, trí Oideachas, trí Thaibhiú agus trí Chaomhnú.

Ón am ar oscail NPU a áitreabh i dteach Seoirseach athchóirithe i 15 Sráid Henrietta, Baile Átha Cliath in 2007 tá sé ag freastal ar an éileamh atá ag fás gan stad ar oiliúint rialta ar an uirlis. Tá sé ag foilsiú agus ag eisiúint taifeadtaí tábhachtacha ó shin i leith freisin. Toisc go bhfuil éileamh thar na bearta ar an uirlis í fhéin, bhunaigh NPU a sainionad oiliúna PipeCraft in 2011 chun oiliúint a chur ar fáil ins an saincheird ardoilte de dhéantús píbe.

Tá NPU creidiúnaithe le hEagraíocht Oideachais, Eolaíochta agus Chultúir na Náisiún Aontaithe (UNESCO) mar eagraíocht neamhrialtasach inniúil (NGO) in san earnáil a bhaineann le hOidhreacht Chultúir Dholáimhsithe (ICH).

Chuaigh NPU i mbun stocaireachta le Rialtas na hÉireann chun go ndaingneodh sé Coinbhinsiún UNESCO maidir le hOidhreacht Chultúir Dholáimhsithe. De thoradh ar sin chuir UNESCO Píobaireacht Uilleann ar a Liosta Ionadaíoch d’Oidhreacht Chultúir Dholáimhsithe an Chine Daonna i Nollaig 2017.

Is iad príomh-mhaoinitheoirí NPU ná An Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta, An Chomhairle Ealaíon agus Comhairle Cathrach Bhaile Átha Cliath.

Na Píobairí Uilleann, 15 Sráid Henrietta, Baile Átha Cliath 1, Éire

Fón: +353-1-8730093


Suíomh Gréasáin:




Anne-Marie Bell
Uilleann Pipes Classes 15 Henrietta Street

We are now taking registration of interest for classes at our 15 Henrietta Street HQ, due to commence on Tuesday 29th September 2020. This is subject to government measures surrounding COVID-19.

Please email for more details.

Places are subject to availability. 

Beginners welcome.

Anne-Marie Bell
Pipe Making Mentoring Programme in Honour of Leo Rowsome

Thanks to the support of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, Na Píobairí Uilleann are delighted to announce an uilleann pipe making mentoring programme. The programme will provide one-to-one mentoring to emerging pipe makers over an intensive one-week period.
The mentoring programme will take place between September 2020 and February 2021. Na Píobairí Uilleann will take into account all COVID-19 guidelines from HSE/Government.

The programme is named in honour of Leo Rowsome, uilleann piper, uilleann pipes teacher, and master uilleann pipes maker whose work continues to provide inspiration and set an example of excellence to pipe makers today. 20th September 2020 will be the 50th anniversary of his death.

Applications must be returned to by 5PM (IST) on Friday 11th September 2020.

Application forms are available here

Word: Application


Clara Grunefeld
Arts Council Ireland: Professional Development Award Applications Now Open

The purpose of the Professional Development Award is to support practicing artists and arts practitioners to upskill through access to a professional development or training opportunity.

Applicants can propose a specific once-off training or developmental opportunity. This can be accessed digitally or in person, in-line with COVID-19 guidelines. Examples might include:

  • Creative development supports, such as participation in workshops, specialist courses, master classes, research projects, residencies, coaching/mentoring, attendance at conferences/seminars
  • Career development supports, such as strategic and/or financial planning, promotional, presentation or digital skills, proposal writing

The proposal may be to work with an individual or organisation based in Ireland or abroad.

More info here:

Anne-Marie Bell
Cancellation of Annual Tionól and EGM 2020

Due to recent restrictions announced by the Irish Government, Na Píobairí Uilleann have decided in conjunction with Management at the Farnham Arms Hotel, Cavan, that Tionól 2020 scheduled for 11th – 13th September will not now take place and is cancelled. Where bookings have been made, the hotel should be contacted directly for cancellations at or by phone +353 (049) 433 2577.

An online Tionól 2020 will take place instead, details of this will be announced shortly.

Please also note that the EGM planned for September 12th 2020 has been cancelled. A notice of an alternative date will be communicated to NPU Members in due course.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused and we hope that you and yours continue to stay safe and well.

Yours sincerely,

Anne-Marie Bell


Clara Grunefeld
An Píobaire Vol. 16 No. 3 now available

We are delighted that the new issue of our Newsletter An Píobaire is available now.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, this issue of An Píobaire was published electronically on July 22nd. All members received their copy via email. If you didn’t get yours, please contact

Clara Grunefeld
NPU Statement on RTÉ Prime Time Investigates

Na Píobairí Uilleann (NPU) strongly condemns the reported sexual abuse and discrimination in the recent RTÉ Prime Time Investigates programme. We praise the courage of those who came forward and spoke out, and we support their actions in doing so. 

NPU is an inclusive organisation and we aim to provide a safe environment for all to enjoy and participate in the Irish Traditional Arts with zero tolerance towards abuse of any kind.  

NPU implements an artistic policy along with a child protection policy. We actively promote fairness, transparency and diversity in our engagement with performers of all ages and backgrounds.


Ráiteas ó NPU maidir le RTÉ Prime Time Investigates

Cáineann Na Píobairí Uilleann (NPU) go láidir an drochúsáid ghnéasach agus an leithcheal ar bhonn gnéis a tuairiscíodh le déanaí ar chlár RTÉ Prime Time Investigates. Molaimid iad siúd a tháinig chun tosaigh le labhairt amach faoi seo agus an misneach a bhí acu sin a dhéanamh agus tugaimid lán-tacaíocht dóibh.

Is eagraíocht ionchuimsitheach í NPU agus tá sé mar aidhm againn timpeallacht shábháilte a chur ar fáil do chách inar féidir le gach duine páirt a ghlacadh agus taitneamh a bhaint as na hEalaíona Dúchasacha. Ní ghlacaimid ar aon bhealach le drochúsáid d’aon tsaghas.

Cuireann NPU beartas ealaíne agus beartas um chosaint leanaí i bhfeidhm. Cuirimid cothrom na féinne chun cinn go gníomhach. Cuirimid trédhearcacht agus ilchineálacht chun cinn chomh maith agus muid ag déileáil le taibheoirí de gach aois-ghrúpa agus de gach cúlra.

Clara Grunefeld
Féile Phíobaireachta 2020 – Festival of Uilleann Piping in August

Féile Phíobaireachta – 3 to 21 August 2020

Na Píobairí Uilleann is delighted to announce that the first Féile Phíobaireachta will take place this August. We will host a variety of online classes, workshops, performances and demonstrations through Zoom and our Facebook page.

The fee for online classes and workshops is €8 for members and €15 for non-members per class. There is no limit on the number of classes each student can attend, however tickets are strictly limited and will be on sale from Wednesday, 22nd July 10am IST, on our online shop on a first come, first served basis. 


delivered via Zoom

*sold out* Tuesday, 4 August – 3pm IST

“Listening and Appreciation” with Harry Bradley

*sold out* Wednesday, 5 August – 3pm IST

“Advanced Regulator Playing” with Seán McKeon

Friday, 7 August – 3pm IST

“Reed Making Workshop” with Mick O’Brien

Tuesday, 11 August – 3pm IST

“Pipes Maintenance” with Joe Walsh

*sold out* Wednesday, 12 August – 3pm IST

“Reaching the Regulators” with Joseph Byrne

*sold out* Tuesday, 18 August – 3pm IST 

“Airs” with Peter Browne

*sold out* Wednesday, 19 August – 3pm IST

“Rhythms & Regs” with Gay McKeon

Online Classes

delivered via Zoom

*sold out* Monday, 3 August – 10am IST

Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn – Masterclass

  • Duration: 1.5hrs
  • Experience Required: 4+yr. playing
Thursday, 6 August – 3pm IST

Emer Mayock – Masterclass

  • Duration: 1.5hrs
  • Experience Required: 1-2yr. playing
Monday, 10 August – 10am IST

Peadar Giles – Masterclass

  • Duration: 1.5hrs
  • Experience Required: 6+mo. playing
*sold out* Thursday, 13 August – 3pm IST

Joey Abarta – Masterclass

  • Duration: 1.5hrs
  • Experience Required: 5+yr. playing
*sold out* Monday, 17 August – 10am IST

Cormac Cannon – Masterclass

  • Duration: 1.5hrs
  • Experience Required: 3yr. playing
Thursday, 20 August – 3pm IST

Kieran O’Hare – Masterclass

  • Duration: 1.5hrs
  • Experience Required: 2+yr. playing

Cancellations made up to 3 days before the class are eligible for a full refund. 

Clara Grunefeld
New Video: Instrument Making in Conjunction with BCFE
, ,

We are delighted to present a new video on Pipecraft, marking the addition of new choices to BCFE’s instrument-making strand.

From September 2020, the following instruments will be offered: uilleann pipes, flute, harp, whistle, and mandolin/mandola. 

This video provides an insight into the course run by Na Píobairí Uilleann in conjunction with Ballyfermot College of Further Education.

The video features both past students and NPU’s CEO, Gay McKeon, speaking about their experience of the course and Na Píobairí Uilleann’s instrument making facility PipeCraft.

Watch the video here on our YouTube Channel.

Clara Grunefeld
“Piping from the Parlour” continues on a weekly basis

We are delighted to announce that “Piping from the Parlour” will continue on our Facebook page on a weekly basis.
The artists perform from their own homes and these are brought to you via our Facebook page at 8pm (IST) every Tuesday.
The series started on Tuesday 21st April and was broadcast every other day.
The first part of the series is now available for viewing on our online Archive here.
Here is the schedule of previous performances (all times listed are IST):
  • 21/04/2020 8pm – Tommy Keane
  • 23/04/2020 8pm – Colm Broderick
  • 25/04/2020 8pm – Louise Mulcahy
  • 27/04/2020 8pm – Leonard Barry
  • 29/04/2020 8pm – Rita Farrell
  • 01/05/2020 8pm – Seán Gavin
  • 03/05/2020 8pm – Tom Creegan
  • 05/05/2020 8pm – Michael ‘Blackie’ O’Connell
  • 07/05/2020 8pm – Amy Campbell
  • 11/05/2020 8pm – Jimmy O’Brien Moran
  • 13/05/2020 8pm – Ronan Browne
  • 15/05/2020 8pm – Peter Laban
  • 17/05/2020 8pm – Sheila Friel
  • 19/05/2020 8pm – Gregorio Bellodi
  • 21/05/2020 8pm – Pádraic Keane
  • 23/05/2020 8pm – Deb Quigley
  • 25/05/2020 8pm – Colleen Shanks
  • 27/05/2020 8pm –  Pamela Schweblin
  • 29/05/2020 8pm – Joseph Byrne
  • 31/05/2020 8pm – Seán McKiernan
  • 02/06/2020 8pm – Cillian Vallely
  • 06/06/2020 8pm – Tom Delany
  • 08/06/2020 8pm – Michael Stribling
  • 10/06/2020 8pm – Martin Nolan
  • 12/06/2020 8pm – Barry Kerr
  • 14/06/2020 8pm – Kara Doyle
  • 16/06/2020 8pm – Preston Wilde
  • 18/06/2020 8pm – Heather Clarke
  • 20/06/2020 8pm – Lachlan McKibbin
  • 22/06/2020 8pm – Marion McCarthy
  • 24/06/2020 8pm – Maeve O’Donnell
  • 26/06/2020 8pm – Donnchadh Gough
  • 30/06/2020 8pm – Jason Rouse
  • 02/07/2020 8pm – Leo Rickard
  • 04/07/2020 8pm – Mark Redmond
You can also watch all past episodes on Facebook, you don’t have to be signed up to see them!
Our thanks goes to The Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaíon for making this possible.