McKiernan Busby Taylor Set

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25 August 2010

Set made originally for Patsy Touhey by the Taylor Brothers of Philadelphia.

Francis O’Neill wrote of the Taylors as follows:

We are credibly informed that Highland pipes, as well as Irish pipes, were anufactured by the Taylors in Drogheda, and it is quite probable such was the case, because Highland pipes were turned out in the Philadelphia shop. Some medals were awarded the Taylors at the Centennial Exposition held in that city in 1875. The renowned musician and mechanic died in 1901, and his brother “Charley” followed him in about a year, but as neither had ventured to embark on the stormy sea of matrimony there were neither widows nor orphans to mourn their loss. They were sincerely lamented,
however, by all the Irish pipers in the land, for to them the death of the Taylors was a veritable calamity. (Irish Minstrels and Musicians, Chicago 1913)

On the death of Patsy Touhey in 1923 the pipes passed into the possession first of Mike Carney and then his niece Annie – both left-handed pipers like Touhey. Annie subsequently married the New York piper Tom Busby, and in the 1970s they gifted the set to Seán Mac Ciarnán who now plays them.

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