UNESCO Heritage status bid for uilleann pipes


Press release on behalf of Na Píobairí Uilleann

January 27th 2016

Na Píobairí Uilleann (NPU), the Association of Uilleann Pipers, welcomes the opportunity to seek special UNESCO recognition for uilleann piping after the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was endorsed by the Irish Government on the recommendation of Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys.

Pending final ratification by the Oireachtas, the Government’s approval of the UNESCO Convention clears the way for Na Píobairí Uilleann, the UCD Folklore Collection and the GAA (in relation to hurling) to proceed with their applications to UNESCO.

Welcoming the development, NPU Chief Executive Gay McKeon commented: “We’re thrilled to be in a position now to have uilleann piping considered for inscription on the UNESCO Representative World Heritage List for this March as one of the designated masterpieces of Humanity.

“Uilleann piping is uniquely associated with Irish cultural heritage, conveying the sound of Ireland. To achieve UNESCO recognition would strengthen Na Píobairí Uilleann’s vision to realise the potential to enrich the lives of people worldwide through the music and culture of the Irish uilleann pipes.

“We would like to thank all those who have supported the ratification process and our application to date in particular Minister Humphreys and the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Tánaiste Joan Burton, the local UNESCO Committee and the Arts Council, principal supporters of NPU’s activity.

“We would also wish the GAA and the UCD Folklore Collection the very best in their respective applications.

“Na Píobairí Uilleann is committed to Ireland’s bourgeoning cultural tourism industry and to the development of Number 16 Henrietta St which will provide important access to the heritage of uilleann piping and Irish traditional music along with housing NPU’s pipemaking training facility which is providing employment in, and critical support for, the uilleann piping community.”

Minister Humphreys has informed the Cabinet she believes UNESCO recognition would provide a significant opportunity to showcase the uniqueness of uilleann piping, hurling and Irish folklore beyond our national boundaries.

Further information

Terry Moylan, Archivist Na Píobairí Uilleann +353-1-8730093