Uilleann pipes owned by 1916 leader played in Kilmainham Gaol

1916 leader Éamonn Ceannt's pipes were played by Mark Redmond at a concert in Kilmainham Gaol

The haunting old Irish air, Lament for Staker Wallace, rang out in Kilmainham Gaol on Sunday, the majestic sound of uilleann pipes drawing out the old ghosts of this historic building where the 1916 leaders were imprisoned and executed.

Famed Wexford piper Mark Redmond was playing no ordinary pipes however: these were the set owned by Eamonn Ceannt, one of the signatories to the Proclamation and a driving force behind the Rising.

Ceannt’s interest in the Gaelic revival was sparked by the commemorative events for 1798 commemoration. He joined the Gaelic League, and became both a founder of the Pipers Club and a master of the uilleann pipes. In 1908 he was even asked to play for Pope Pius X in Rome.

His pipes are now housed in the the Curragh Military Museum and are usually on display to the public there.

The pipe solo in Kilmainham on 25th and 26th January was a centrepiece for a new work, Machnamh – Airs and Songs of Kilmainham,  composed by acclaimed musician Tom Doorley and performed by the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland with guest perfomances by several singers.




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