The Ace & Deuce of Piping Concert – Available Now!

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”.

View Ace and Deuce of Piping E-Programme Here


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.

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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


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