1916 leader Ceannt's uilleann pipes for Connacht Fleadh

The Jackie Clarke Collection has secured the loan of 1916 Proclamation signatory Eamonn Ceannt’s set of uilleann pipes for the Connacht Fleadh in Ballina, which runs from June 23–July 2.

Ceannt’s grand-niece Mary Gallagher will present a lecture on June28 at the Jackie Clarke Collection focusing on his Irish cultural legacy.

Ceannt’s set of uilleann pipes will be transported from the Curragh Camp Military Museum on that date and put on display for the special event.

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Curator of the Jackie Clarke Collection Annie Marie Forbes said, “This is a wonderful privilege for Ballina to get the pipes. It will most certainly do wonders for the Jackie Clarke Collection and during our own 10 years anniversary, this year it couldn't be more fitting”.

Born in Galway on Sept 21, 1881, Eamonn Ceannt 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 from Kent to the Irish format. He was also an excellent musician and Uilleann Piper.He won a gold medal at the Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 1906. He received a Papal blessing for his performance on the uilleann pipes 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.

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

 On St. Patrick’s Day, 1916, Éamonn Ceannt played his uilleann pipes for the last time in public. It was just a few weeks before the Easter Rising. He was executed on May 8.