Píobaire, An, Volume 2, Issue 18, Page 7

Píobaire, An, Volume 2, Issue 18, Page 7
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
Píobaire, An
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DINNY DELANEY AND SOME LESSER KNOWN GALWAY PIPERS(This short account, the result of some research of over a few years, attemptsto present facts relating to Delaney and some lesser known pipers of the areaother than the items published in BNeills books and past editions of An Plobaire However, some references to both sources are made for the benefit of readers nothaving access to these publications. O Neill has a fine photograph of Delaney inhis Irish Minstrels and MusicianS (307) on which the piper in this bulletinsbanner in based).Dinny Delaney was born,according to the parish register, on 6 August 1841, theson of William and HanoraDelaney (flee Gahan) andwas baptised two days later.It is generally believed thathe was blind from an earlyage, Mrs. Boyle, Delaneysdaughter, says that smallpoxcaused his blindness. Localtradition has it that he wastaught to play the pipes bya piper named Wills whocame from Lawrencetown.Wills was performing aslate as 1 8 80/I and it seemsthat Delaney and Willswent on to become greatrivals in those pre FeisCeoil days.Wills must have beensomewhat pompous and heimagined that a string ofChristian names would addto his standing as one storytold about him goes. At afair in Ballinasloe he wasplaying and was asked forhis name by an R.I.C.policeman, to whom he rep-lied My name is August us,Charles, NichDlas Diabolo,DaRes, Frederick, FrancisWills from LawrencetOwn(2)Delaney established adance house (3) sometimein the latter part of the19th Century and helddances on Friday, Saturdayand Sunday nights. Theadmission charge was 3dper person (4) though atone stac e and in lattertimes it was 4d for girlsand 6d for men.(5) Thesewere very popular functionswith Dinnys undoubtedability to play for dancers.The enjoyment was fur ther added to by the pat-rons partaking of stout andbeer in the course of theevening. Reel sets weresaid to be a very populardance form in Dinnysdance house. Admissionwas strictly controlled bythe piper and his secondwife, Mary, who would coll-ect the money at the door.The dance nights continueduntil 1918 or 1919.Apart from runningdances, Delaney was ingreat demand around theBallinasloe (6) area and wasusually engaged to play atweddings and other socialfunctions as distant asMoore, Aughrim and in Ath-lone on one occassion.(7)In common with the otherpipers of the time, hecarried his instrument in ablue buttoned bag (9), pipescarried in boxes seems tobe a 20th Century develop-ment. He gave recitals inGarbally Mansion on theinvitation of Lord Clancartyand also in Clonbrock Man-sion. He frequently playedin Ahascragh and Caltra onfair days and vas arrestedby the R.I.C. in Mountbellew for playing Feniantunes in 1916. The detailsof this event have beenreferred to in a previousedition of An Pcobaire.He also played at con-certs all over the countryincluding Dublin, Cork, Lim-erick, \Vexford and even inScot land( S)An extract from a re-port in the East GaiwayDemocrat of Saturday 5thJan. 191 8 went as follcws:NIGHTS OF MUSICBrilliant Concerts inBallinasloeThe charity concerts organ-ised by Fr Madden on Wed-nesday and Thursday nightswere particularly brilliant,the best of artistes beingengaged etcMr. D. Delaney gave a sel-ection of Irish airs on thebagpipes for which he wasloudly applauded.Delaney married twice butno details exist about hisfirst wife. His second wifewas a fiddler from Aughrimnamed Mary Flannery,daughter of a Matt Flann-ery. (9) There were fivechildren in the family,three boys and two girls,and one, Mrs. Mary Boyle,is hale and hearty, living inBallinasloe and is justifiablyproud and full of the loreof her famous father. Theeldest son, Willie, playedthe fiddle and in lateryears played along with hisfather in some public per-formances. Willie Delaneyemigrated to England about1938 and died about 1972.Dinny competed at Feis-eanna throughout the coun-try and accroding to 0Neills Irish Minstrels andMusicians von numerousprizes. He is first ment-ioned in the Feis Ceoilresults in 1899 as jointsecond with Mici Cumbaw.1900 in third place, 1901second place, 1902 in thirdplace, 1903 second place,1904 winner. The nextmention is 1908 when liealso von, John Gormanbeing second. He was winn-er in 1910, 1911, 1912 andI 91 3. Next mention is in915 when he was placedsecond. In 1917 he wasplaced second to JamesByrne and won in 1918.To be continued7
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Píobaire, An, Volume 2, Issue 18

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