A SET of uilleann pipes which belonged to the Easter Rising leader Eamonn Ceannt have made their debut at the Connacht Fleadh this week.
Usually located at the Curragh Military Museum, the pipes make a special appearance at the Fleadh Ballina event which is underway in Mayo.
Ceannt last played the pipes on St Patrick’s Day 1916, a few short weeks before his execution for his role in the Easter Rising.
Born in Galway in 1881, he was devoted to the Irish language, music and dance and in 1900 joined the Gaelic League.
He became a fluent Irish speaker, began teaching Irish and changed his name to the Irish format.
He was also an excellent musician and Uilleann Piper, winning a gold medal at the Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 1906.
He founded the Dublin Pipers Club in 1900 which ultimately laid the seed for the formation of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and Na Piobairi Uilleann.
Fleadh Ballina PRO Eamonn Walsh has been busy preparing for the arrival of the historic musical instrument, since Fleadh Ballina got underway on June 23.
The pipes arrived in Ballina yesterday, transported by the Irish Department of Defence, and are now in display at the Jackie Clarke museum.
Last night Ceannt’s grand-niece Mary Gallagher gave a lecture focusing on the Rising leader’s cultural legacy in Ireland.
The pipes will remain at the museum until the closing day of the Fleadh on July 2.
Messages of congratulations for the Ballina event have been received from US Ambassador Claire Cronin, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Micheál Martin and the Minister for Arts, Catherine Martin.
Dr Labhrás O’Murchú will officially open the Fleadh in the Ballina Arts Centre tomorrow nbght, (June 30) at a launch event being held at 7.30pm.
Highlights of the event include trips to the Ceide Fields, Croke Patrick, Nephin Mountain and the Titanic Memorial in Lahardane.
Irish singer Dana will be the guest soloist performaing at the Fleadh Mass, along with local Comhaltas musicians, this Sunday, July 2.
The Papal Nuncio has also sent a message which will be read out at the Mass.