Monday, January 23, 2023

A set of Uilleann Pipes that belonged to an Easter Rising leader are to go on display in Ballina next summer while the town hosts the Connacht Fleadh.

The Jackie Clarke Collection have secured the loan of Eamonn Ceannt’s set of Uilleann Pipes for the Fleadh, which takes place from June 23 to July 2.

Curator of the Collection Anne Marie Forbes said it is a wonderful privilege for Ballina to get the Pipes.

“It will do wonders for the Jackie Clarke Collection. It is during our own 10 year anniversary so the year could not be more fitting.”

In addition, Ceannt’s grand-niece Mary Gallagher will present a lecture on June 28 at the Jackie Clarke Collection focusing on his Irish cultural legacy. The instrument will be transported from the Curragh Camp Military Museum, where they are currently on display, and put on display in Ballina for this special event.

Born in Galway in 1881, Ceannt was devoted to the Irish language, music and dance. He was an excellent musician and Uilleann Piper and won a gold medal at the Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 1906. He received a Papal blessing for his performance while in Rome with members of the Catholic Young Men’s Society, participating in an athletics competition to celebrate the jubilee of Pope Pius X in 1908.

He founded the Dublin Pipers Club in 1900 which ultimately laid the seed for the formation of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí  Éireann and Na Piobairi Uilleann.

Eamonn Ceannt played his Uilleann Pipes for the final time in public just a few short weeks before the Easter Rising, where Ceannt was one of the seven signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

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